Members of Japan’s Ruling Liberal Democratic Party without Factions to Form Liaison Group for Political Reforms

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Liberal Democratic Party’s head office building in Tokyo

Four members of the Liberal Democratic Party with no faction affiliations, including State Minister of Finance Ryosei Akazawa and former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai, decided in a meeting in the Diet building on Friday to form a liaison group of party lawmakers who do not belong to any internal factions.

The LDP is currently under harsh criticism due to a series of scandals over alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law by its party factions.

The group’s aim is to make a framework where unaffiliated party members can be united to ensure that their opinions are reflected in political reforms inside the party.

The meeting was also attended by Keiichiro Tachibana, former state minister for reconstruction, and Ryosei Tanaka, former state minister of Cabinet Office.

The unaffiliated LDP members plan to invite other LDP lawmakers in the House of Representatives, mainly junior and mid-ranked members, and aim to launch the liaison group by the end of this month.

Akazawa is close to former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba, and Sakai belongs to a group supporting former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Neither Ishiba nor Suga belong to any factions.

The group is being closely watched to see how much traction it will gain among other LDP members who are not part of a faction.

The liaison group is also expected to serve as a place where members exchange opinions about policies, personnel affairs and preparations for future elections.