Kishida: Key Members of Abe Faction Likely to be Punished Next Week; Japan ‘Still Halfway to Overcoming Deflation’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference on Thursday.

The Liberal Democratic Party will impose penalties on senior Abe faction officials over a political funds scandal as early as next week, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday at a press conference.

Kishida, who also serves as the president of the LDP, said the former top officials of the Abe faction, which was previously led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will be penalized in connection with violating the Political Funds Control Law.

Kishida made it clear that the party will “take strict action” against the members of the faction.

“We will take a comprehensive look into their positions as politicians, their careers and what efforts they have made to restore public trust, including how they have fulfilled their accountability,” Kishida said. “We will go through the procedures of the Party Ethics Committee before taking strict action.”

Regarding the economy, Kishida said that “Japan is still halfway to overcoming deflation,” stressing that the government will make the utmost effort to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to raise wages.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely break out of deflation,” Kishida said.

The prime minister said Japan will be able to do so by increasing disposable income through wage hikes and fixed-amount cuts in income tax, a measure that will reduce taxes by \40,000 per person and will take effect in June.

To help small and medium-sized companies strengthen their earning power, Kishida said that it will become more important to secure low-cost, robust energy sources.