Japan's top government spokesman has pledged to carry out a thorough investigation into a document-tampering scandal to restore public trust.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was responding to a reporter's question on Monday about the falling approval rate of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet.
Suga said support rates in polls go up and down. He said the government will tackle pressing issues at home and abroad, including North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
He went on to express regret over recent revelations that Finance Ministry documents related to the controversial sale of state-owned land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen had been altered.
Suga said the government takes public criticism seriously. He said it will fully cooperate with the investigation and try to uncover the truth.
Suga added that the government will then need to take measures to prevent a recurrence.
The spokesman also referred to a call by opposition parties for the prime minister's wife to testify in connection with the scandal. Akie Abe was once set to become honorary principal of the new Moritomo school.
Suga said it is up to the Diet to decide whether to summon Abe's wife. But he added that the prime minister has repeatedly explained his wife's position.