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2024 January 24 - 30 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Shiokawa urges PM Kishida to investigate all LDP lawmakers regarding slush-fund allegation

January 30, 2024

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Shiokawa Tetsuya on January 29 at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting urged Prime Minister Kishida, who also heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to investigate all LDP lawmakers regarding the unregistered fundraiser-income scandal.

On this day, intensive discussions on the LDP slush-fund scandal took place in both chambers’ budget committees.

Shiokawa pointed out that essence of the political funds control law is to place the flow of political funds under public monitoring, and said that the LDP’s act of violating the law shakes the very foundation of democracy and is thus unacceptable.

Shiokawa criticized PM Kishida and other LDP lawmakers for failing to fulfill their accountability over the alleged off-the-book money issue. He said that the LDP should conduct thorough investigations of all of its lawmakers and factions, and disclose the investigation results. In response, PM Kishida expressed his intent to investigate individuals involved as a first step.

Asked by Shiokawa, “Who are the individuals involved?”, Kishida replied, “Mainly LDP lawmakers suspected of their involvement in the scandal.” Shiokawa pointed out, “Scandal-hit lawmakers are not only members of the Abe and Nikai factions. All LDP lawmakers should be investigated.” Kishida in reply promised to conduct investigations without narrowing down to only the targeted persons.

At a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting, JCP lawmaker Yamazoe Taku said that the “political reform” initiated in the 1990s should have imposed a ban on all forms of political donations from businesses and interest groups in exchange for the introduction of the system of government subsidies to political parties. He noted that in the 30 years since then, the LDP received a total of 440 billion yen in state subsidies. On top of this, Yamazoe said, the LDP continues to accept corporate and organizational donations and has set up a scheme for creating off-the-book funds through unregistered proceeds from political fundraiser ticket sales. He demanded that political donations from and purchases of fundraiser tickets by businesses and interest groups be strictly banned.
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