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Moneylenders funding LDP and Komei Party

Amid increasing public criticism over the exorbitant interest rates imposed by non-bank moneylenders, the Japanese Communist Party has revealed the cozy relationship between the money-lending business and the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

According to a survey by a JCP task force for lowering loan sharks' interest rates led by House of Councilors member Daimon Mikishi, in the past three years non-bank moneylenders had given at least 19.5 million yen to the ruling parties and their members, including five members of the Abe cabinet.

During this period, a lobbying body of non-bank loan companies (Zenseiren) and individual companies in the industry gave 17 million yen to the LDP and its members as well as 2.3 million yen to the Komei Party and its members as donations, for the purchase of fund-raiser tickets, subscription fees for party organ papers, and lecture fees.

LDP members include Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa, Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Amari Akira, State Minister for Financial Services Yamamoto Yuji, and LDP Secretary General Nakagawa Hidenao.

In the December 2005 issue of a magazine published by an organization of non-bank loan companies, Amari Akira defended the high interest rates that the industry wants to maintain, by saying, "Based on the free market principle, it is a matter of course to set high interest rates when lending money to high risk consumers."
- Akahata, October 13, 2006

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