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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 January 22 - 28  > Local daily in Iwate: political parties accepting public funds lack self-reliance
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2020 January 22 - 28 [POLITICS]

Local daily in Iwate: political parties accepting public funds lack self-reliance

January 19 & 22, 2020

The Internal Affairs Ministry on January 17 announced that eight political parties had applied for government subsidies for 2020. The amount totals about 31.8 billion yen with the largest receiver being the Liberal Democratic Party at 17.3 billion yen followed by the Democratic Party for the People at 4.6 billion yen.

"Tohkaishimpo", a local daily newspaper in the easternmost area of Iwate Prefecture, in its editorial dated January 19 criticized these grants to political parties for squandering the nation's financial resources and demanded the immediate abolition of this system. The newspaper, in contrast, praised the Japanese Communist Party for not accepting those public funds on principle, becoming a topic of conversation among the locals.

The editorial pointed out that political parties should be financially self-reliant in the first place. The editorial said that the system of government subsidies to political parties, which was established on the grounds of restrictng political donations from businesses and vested interest groups, has a hidden purpose. It astutely observed, "This system now looks as if it has turned into something that allows them to sit back and wait for additional handouts."

According to the editorial, the amazing thing is that the JCP while stressing the unconstitutionality of those funds has been refusing to accept them. If political parties had a strong determination to take good care of political donations from individual citizens, they would not have such a lazy mindset. The editorial concluded with irony, "It may be unreasonable to place our expectations on the political parties taken part in by persons who think nothing of taking bribes."

A Tohkaishimpo reader said he was very surprised reading this editorial because normally the newspaper does not write favorably of the JCP.

Past related article:
> Political parties, except for JCP, remain dependent on state subsidies [November 30, 2019]
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