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2024 April 3 - 9 TOP3 [POLITICS]

LDP’s decision to punish 39 lawmakers does not deserve to be called ‘punishment’

April 5, 2024

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on April 4 said that the Liberal Democratic Party’s decision to punish 39 lawmakers involved in a slush fund scandal “does not deserve the name of ‘punishment’.”

At a press conference in the Diet building, Koike criticized the LDP for intending to close the curtain with toothless punishments without getting to the bottom of the allegation.

Koike said, “It is impossible for the intra-party disciplinary committee to decide on adequate disciplinary measures” because the party itself had systematically encouraged the creation of slush funds through off-the-book revenues from fundraising parties.

Noting that Prime Minister and LDP President Kishida Fumio exempted himself from the penalties, Koike said, “In order to save himself, Kishida drew the line where it did not reach himself.”

Former LDP Secretary-General Nikai Toshihiro, despite taking a large amount of kickback money, will receive no punishment. In contrast, former Chair of the LDP Policy Research Council Hagiuda Koichi, who does not hold any position, will be suspended from party positions for a year. Koike said, “I have no idea what the criteria for disciplinary action are.”

Koike continued to say, “The biggest problem is that the whole picture has not been revealed about who created the slush funds, and when, how much, and for what purpose the money was used.” He demanded that the Diet summon all politicians involved, including former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro, to testify as sworn witnesses.

Past related articles:
> \135.3 million in back taxes be levied if LDP slush funds are regarded as income [February 27, 2024]
> Koike: Survey on LDP slush funds far from satisfactory [February 14, 2024]
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