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Japan’s LDP hold Ethics Committee meeting


Japan’s LDP hold Ethics Committee meeting

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) Ethics Committee (EC) meets today to discuss disciplinary action against party members for alleged undeclared fundraiser revenue.

39 LDP members, former and current lawmakers, are alleged to have knowingly failed to list at least $33,000USD raised at personal campaign fundraising parties from 2017 to 2022. The total undisclosed amount hidden from record is at least $6.5 million USD. The EC will also have eight options for punishing alleged members, the highest being party expulsion, the second highest being a recommendation to leave.

Coalition factions had for years returned fundraising ticket sales that exceeded quotas to the individual party members. In mid-2022 however, the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to abolish the kickbacks to members. After his assassination, this decision was reversed. The scandal has also rocked Japan’s political world, with Prime Minister Kishida’s government sinking to below 20% approval.

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Expect today’s meeting to result in the recommendation for those involved to leave the party. Unilateral expulsion is unlikely due to a need to keep the ‘old guard’ from further public humiliation as Kishida’s loses public allies. As for coalition discipline, further measures will be implemented to criminalise any further retention of undeclared funds.

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