Kishida to Ask Cooperation of LDP Executives in Formulating Measures to Dispel Public Concerns Over Fund-Raising Party-Related Allegations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a House of Councillors Budget Committee session on Nov. 27.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to ask the cooperation of Liberal Democratic Party executives in formulating measures to dispel the public’s concerns over allegations that the ruling party’s factions misappropriated revenue from the sale of tickets to fundraising parties, according to government and party sources.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad is investigating former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s faction on suspicion that it improperly returned part of the proceeds of ticket sales for political fundraising parties to its faction members. The squad is considering prosecuting the case as a violation of the Political Funds Control Law. The Abe faction is among the five LDP factions alleged to have accounting irregularities.

Kishida, the president of the LDP, is expected to propose a review of the fundraising party system and call for LDP factions for the time being to refrain holding the gatherings, which are the main source of their income.

Kishida was expected to gather senior party members, including Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi and Vice President Taro Aso, who lead their respective factions, at party headquarters Wednesday and discuss measures to restore public confidence. He also was expected to express apprehension that the LDP is facing a crisis because of the allegations.

Refraining from holding factional fundraising parties is likely a viable option for the time being.

On Tuesday, the Motegi faction decided to cancel a fundraising party scheduled to be held at a Tokyo hotel next April. Kishida’s own faction is also planning to cancel its fundraising party set for next year.