All LDP Lawmakers Involved in Scandal Being Asked to Testify

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ruling and opposition parties’ officials are seen at the Diet on Friday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The opposition parties are demanding that all lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party involved in a slush funds scandal appear before Diet political ethics panels to discuss the scandal.

On Friday, the opposition side urged all 51 House of Representatives lawmakers involved in the scandal from the LDP faction once headed by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or the faction headed by former LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai to testify at the lower house Deliberative Council on Political Ethics.

The opposition camp plans to demand that all 31 House of Councillors lawmakers from the two LDP factions as well as one lawmaker in the chamber who has left the LDP attend the panel’s upper house counterpart for a hearing about the scandal.

The lawmakers mentioned by the opposition camp have been accused of failing to report revenues from fundraising parties hosted by the LDP factions.

Opposition parties have threatened to block a hearing necessary for the lower house to vote on the government’s fiscal 2024 budget unless the lawmakers involved in the scandal speak at the political ethics panels.

At an executive meeting of the lower house ethics panel Friday, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and two other opposition parties demanded that leaders of the two factions definitely appear before the panel.

They also demanded disclosure of the names of lawmakers not included in the LDP’s report on the scandal, as well as the release of a list classifying lawmakers according to whether they have corrected their political funds reports.

Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, urged the LDP to fulfill accountability at the ethics panels.

At a press conference, CDPJ leader Kenta Izumi said that if the LDP declines to hold the ethics panels, there will be a need to consider next measures, such as summoning those involved in the scandal for sworn testimony at parliament.