Japan PM Kishida Vows Strong Commitment of LDP to Address Underreporting by Factions of Fundraising Revenues

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida raises his hand during a meeting of the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee on Friday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed Friday that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, of which he is president, will tackle the issue of five LDP factions allegedly underreporting revenues from their fundraising parties in political funds reports.

“Our party is facing intense scrutiny across the board as public trust in politics has been shaken,” Kishida said during deliberations of the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee. “The entire party will tackle this issue with an acute sense of crisis.”

On Wednesday, Kishida instructed party executives to refrain from holding fundraising parties for factions until further notice.

“This is just the first step,” the LDP president said when asked about the instruction at Friday’s meeting. “We will identify the issue and why that happened, and then will take additional steps.”

Suspicions over the underreporting of political funds reports have been growing since a complaint was submitted to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office.

When Kishida was asked about fundraising parties, he did not give specific answers, only saying, “I’d refrain from making comments as they could affect the investigation [into the matter by prosecutors].”

Kishida was also asked about his announcement on Thursday that he will leave his own faction, which is among the five suspected of having underreported revenues from fundraising parties.

“To not belong to a specific faction while in office is what the prime minister should do,” he said.