Calls to Dissolve Abe Faction Intensify; Other Factions May Follow Suit

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

Lawmakers within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Abe faction have called for dissolution of their own faction in the wake of the political fundraising party scandal.

In response to the decision that the party formerly led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida intended to dissolve, some Abe faction members have voiced a desire to follow suit, with one young member saying, “Considering how the situation has developed, we should decide on our dissolution at [the faction’s] general meeting.”

However, one Abe faction executive said, “It’s important to hear opinions within the faction first. We can’t make a decision right away.”

In the Nikai faction, the fifth-largest LDP faction that is also facing accusations, a middle-ranking member said, “We should dissolve the faction as a political organization but remain as a policy study group.”

Kishida, who is also the LDP president, told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday morning: “We’ll dissolve our faction to restore the public’s trust in politics. I’m not in a position to say what the other factions will do.

“People are skeptical about factions, thinking they are a place to seek money and higher positions,” Kishida said. “We must think of policy study group rules in order to clear up doubts and restore political trust.”