Japan PM vows no more fundraising parties after kickbacks scandal

Japan PM vows no more fundraising parties after kickbacks scandal

/ 05:56 PM February 29, 2024

Japan PM vows no more fundraising parties after kickbacks scandal

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (C) arrives to the 5th committee room where the political ethics committee will be held at Parliament, over a money scandal rocking the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in Tokyo on February 29, 2024. AFP

TOKYO — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed Thursday he would put a stop to political fundraising parties, as he faced a televised parliamentary ethics committee probing a major kickbacks scandal.

At the heart of the saga are alleged payments to members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for exceeding ticket sales quotas for fundraising events.


Two LDP lawmakers have been charged with breaking political funding laws and three of its biggest factions have been dissolved.


“It is my intention that I will not hold these parties during my time as prime minister,” Kishida told the committee.

Kishida was the first sitting prime minister to attend such a hearing, which investigates alleged malpractice by lawmakers and was reportedly last held in 2009.

The premier also vowed to revise the political funding law, “in such a way that not only people in charge of accounting but politicians themselves will be held accountable”.

Factions have long been crucial to the inner workings of the LDP — which has governed Japan almost uninterrupted since 1945 — with prime ministers distributing top positions with the politics of these groupings in mind.

Government approval ratings are at their worst level since the LDP returned to power in 2012, dragged down by voter anger about inflation and a string of earlier scandals.

Kishida, in office since October 2021, is due to face a tough internal LDP leadership election battle in late 2024 ahead of national polls due by 2025.

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TAGS: Fumio Kishida, Japan

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