Abe Faction Considering Simultaneous Correction of Political Funds Reports Amid Kickback Scandal

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Liberal Democratic Party’s headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Amid cases of violation of the Political Funds Control Law by members of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Abe faction, known as Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyukai, the 98-member faction is considering a simultaneous correction of all political funds reports of the faction and its members as early as next week, according to sources close to the party.

Lawmakers belonging to the faction allegedly failed to report as income the cash kickbacks from fundraising-party revenue they received from the faction and allegedly turned the kickbacks into slush funds. Unreported funds and other relevant parts will be corrected, sources said.

The faction will make a final decision on when to correct the reports based on the progress of investigation by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. Ahead of the correction, the faction’s secretariat is currently conducting in-house investigations on members, aiming to determine the total amount of kickbacks paid before prosecutors end their investigation.

Faction seniors called on members for a simultaneous correction of reports, but the faction might find it difficult to have all of them follow the request. Some lawmakers voiced concerns, saying they want to avoid correcting reports at the same time as problematic lawmakers, such as those who did not record large amounts [of funds].

The faction’s unreported funds are believed to exceed ¥570 million over the five years leading up to 2022.