Search of LDP Faction Offices Shocks Japan Government; LDP Officials Stress Seriousness of Situation

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Officers of Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office are seen on their way to search the office of the LDP’s Nikai faction on Tuesday morning in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Shock spread throughout the government and ruling parties over the fact that the offices of the Abe and Nikai factions of the Liberal Democratic Party were searched by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on Tuesday.

“This is deeply regrettable. I am considering the matter with utmost solemnity,” LDP Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

“I take this matter very seriously. We will firmly and sincerely cooperate with the investigation,” said Tsuyoshi Takagi, a member of the House of Representatives and secretary general of the Abe faction, to reporters at party headquarters.

LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said, “The investigation has entered a new phase. We will closely monitor the investigation to clarify the actual situation.”

“I am aware that, as the investigation progresses, the full details, causes and issues will be clarified,” said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, president of the LDP, at a party executive meeting held just prior to the search. “We will take the necessary measures while watching developments,” Kishida added.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, avoiding commentary on the search at the press conference, said, “We are seriously considering the voice of the people, including their distrust of politics, and we will deliver results one by one on domestic and foreign policy issues so that there will be no delay in national politics.”

Meanwhile, Kenta Izumi, president of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, responded to questions from reporters in the Diet, saying, “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented situation. The LDP has yet to uphold its accountability.”