Kishida Faction to be Dissolved Over Political Funds Scandal; Others May Follow

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks Friday at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party faction which was formerly led by Prime Minister and LDP President Fumio Kishida intend to disband itself as a political organization.

In relation to the political funds scandal involving LDP factions, prosecutors plan to build a case against the 46-member Kishida faction, also known as Kochikai. Kishida decided that they would have to dissolve the faction in order to address public distrust in politics under the current circumstances.

Concerning his faction, Kishida said to reporters on Thursday at the Prime Minister’s Office, “I am considering dissolving the faction. If it helps restore the public’s trust in politics, we must consider it.”

Along with the dissolution, Kishida plans to close the faction’s office in Tokyo.

Given the move by the Kishida faction, other factions might follow suit.

The Kochikai was established in 1957 by former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda and is the oldest of the six LDP factions. It produced prime ministers Masayoshi Ohira, Zenko Suzuki and Kiichi Miyazawa. Kishida became the ninth leader of the faction in October 2012. The faction has been left without a leader since Kishida announced his intention to leave the faction in December 2023 amid the allegations against LDP factions concerning revenue from political fundraising parties.

The Kishida faction has registered as an “other political organization” to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry based on the Political Funds Control Law. If the faction ceases to be a political organization, it will not be allowed to hold political fundraising parties.

The Kishida faction has submitted revised political funds reports for the years between 2020 and 2022 to the ministry on Thursday. The faction added a total of a total of ¥25.01 million in revenue to the reports due to some part of fundraising revenue not being reported.