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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 May 27 - June 2  > No one opposes JCP argument that ‘parties should be funded by personal donations’
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2009 May 27 - June 2 [POLITICS]

No one opposes JCP argument that ‘parties should be funded by personal donations’

May 31, 2009
TV viewers were fascinated by a debate on a weekend TV program, in which a Japanese Communist Party member of the Diet argued, “Political parties should basically be funded by donations from individual citizens,” without drawing any criticism or dissenting opinion from participants from other parties.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira appeared on a TBS TV show on current affairs on May 30 with Dietmembers from the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, and the Komei Party.

Seeing other politicians blame each other over the acceptance of illegal political donations from Nishimatsu Construction Co., Koike said, “Both sides are to blame equally. You must come clean about the allegations.”

LDP member of the House of Councilors Seko Hiroshige said, “The Political Funds Control Law revised in 1999 basically prohibits politicians from accepting donations from corporations.”

“No, the law has many loopholes. Donations from corporations must be completely outlawed,” Koike stated.

The host of the show, then, wondered aloud, “Can’t you do anything without (receiving corporate donations)? Don’t you think it’s time to stop accepting government subsidies, too?”

DPJ member of the House of Councilors Fukuyama Tetsuro said that banning corporate donations three years from now “will be the most rational step to take.”

In response, Komei Party member of the House of Representatives Takagi Yosuke said, “If corporate donations are prohibited, the Democratic Party will be forced to rely only on government subsidies, like a public interest institution?” In saying this, Takagi seemed to forget the fact that his party accepts government subsidies as well.

The TV show host said, “But, the JCP receives neither corporate donations nor government subsidies, right?”

JCP Koike said point-blank, “Each person should make political donations on their own volition to the party they support. This is the way political donations should be.”

To this, even the LDP lawmaker had to say, “That is the ideal.”
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