Japan: LDP party funding scandal spreads
The scandal in Japan linked to undeclared funding for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), head of the government coalition, which concerns an increasingly large number of members of the executive, is spreading like wildfire. According to local media, coinciding with the end of the session of the Diet (Parliament in Tokyo) next Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is preparing to replace up to five senior administration officials who join the most powerful faction of the conservative front , which bears the name of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July 2022.
Investigative sources believe that most of its nearly 100 members omitted payments received from grants to the party in violation of electoral law. Among the senior officials under the lens are the head of Cabinet, considered the prime minister’s right-hand man, Hirokazu Matsuno; the secretary general of the Upper House, Hiroshige Seko; the LDP’s reform chief, Koichi Hagiuda, and Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura. Over the weekend Kishida met with numerous party representatives, and according to public broadcaster NHK different solutions are being explored based on the involvement of individual politicians, due to conflicting opinions within the government and the party itself.
Among the proposals being examined by Kishida – reports the Jiji Agency – is that of sacking all 15 senior administration officials belonging to the faction affected by the scandal. Harsh criticism came from the main opposition movement, the Constitutional Democratic Party, which pointed out that none of the lawmakers involved in the scandal explained how the unreported funds were used.