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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 November 28 - December 4  > LDP depends on political donations from corporations more than ever
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2018 November 28 - December 4 [POLITICS]

LDP depends on political donations from corporations more than ever

December 1, 2018

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has released each political party's political funds report for fiscal 2017. Out of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's total revenues, the percentage of donations from corporations and organizations has increased. Most for-profit business entities make political donations in order to seek something in return. This type of donations creates a hotbed of corrupt moneyed politics, and therefore should immediately be prohibited.

According to the LDP head office's total income received in FY2017, direct donations from companies amounted to about 1.8 million yen and donations indirectly from companies and industries through the LDP fund management body 2.35 billion yen, up 1.3 million yen and 50 million yen, respectively, from a year earlier. The LDP last year received a total of almost 26 billion yen, of which nearly 10% came from corporate and organizational donations. Out of the LDP's total income, the tax-funded government subsidy amounted to more than 17.6 billion yen which accounted for 68.1% of the total.

The rise in corporate donations to the LDP started after Japan's largest business lobby, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), began reinforcing political collaboration in 2014 following Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's comeback to power. Keidanren has since urged its member companies and organizations to make political donations every year under the pretext of evaluating each party's policies.

Accordingly, Keidanren executives' companies and other large corporations began increasing their amount of political donations given to the LDP. For instance, Toray Industries, the company where the immediate past Keidanren chairman was from, provided 50 million yen in donations to the LDP last year; Hitachi, whose chairman is the present Keidanren chairman, donated 28.5 million yen; Toyota Motor 64.4 million yen; and Nissan 37 million yen.

Banking institutions which had suspended giving political donations in the wake of the government bailout using taxpayer money resumed donations to the LDP three years ago. Public utility enterprises providing electricity also make political donations to the governing party through their affiliated companies or through their board members in the form of "contributions from individual citizens".

Donations from business institutions and organizations lead to corrupt moneyed politics. Government subsidies coming from taxpayer money ignore political affiliation or beliefs of the people. All these income sources of political parties, therefore, should be banned.

Past related articles:
> Put an end to Keidanren’s ‘buyout of politics’ with use of policy evaluation tactic [October 17, 2018]
> LDP relies on tax-funded gov't subsidy for 72% of income [December 1, 2017]
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