Japan's top government spokesperson says it is not possible to restore the deleted digital records of a state-funded party hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The opposition camp has criticized Abe for inviting many supporters from his constituency to the annual cherry blossom-viewing party.
The Cabinet Office says it shredded the list of the guests because it thought the document only had to be kept for less than a year. The office says it also deleted digital data about the event from a computer server.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Monday that the Cabinet Office uses a central system to manage data on the server. He said the records for the party were not stored in individual computers.
Suga said he heard from the system's operator that it is also impossible to restore backup data after the information is deleted.
He also referred to an allegation made by the opposition camp that a bankrupt firm suspected of having engaged in fraudulent business practices may have used an invitation to the event to find new customers. Suga said he is not aware of the specific details of the allegation.