Ethics Panel Discuss Session Schedule on Funds Scandal

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A Diet panel on political ethics on Monday discussed a plan to hold sessions on a high-profile money scandal involving factions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The Deliberative Council on Political Ethics of the House of Representatives held the discussions at the day’s meeting of its senior members, after five LDP members last week formally offered to appear before the panel.

At the heart of the day’s discussions was whether the upcoming panel sessions should be open to the public. The LDP and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan had agreed to hold the sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

“There has been only one case in our long history in which a session of the lower house ethics panel was completely closed to the public,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also president of the LDP, told a meeting of the lower house’s Budget Committee on Monday. “I hope the best way will be taken from the perspective of accountability.”

While the LDP aimed for the upcoming ethics panel sessions to be completely closed to the public, the CDPJ and other opposition parties rejected this. The senior panel officials from the ruling and opposition parties decided to continue discussions on the matter.

Those who will be appearing at the panel sessions are former industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, former education minister Ryu Shionoya, former internal affairs minister Ryota Takeda and former LDP Diet affairs leader Tsuyoshi Takagi.