Japanese Prime Minister Apologizes for Political Scandal

Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Fumio Kishida apologized for actions described as “inviting suspicion and distrust in politics” due to a recent public funds scandal currently affecting the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on February 29th.

Kishida made the comments during a televised session of the House of Representatives political ethics committee. He also said he would promise to “promote reforms to safeguard compliance in ruling party governance” by taking “a leading role.”

The PM’s appearance was criticized by the opposition, which claimed Kishida failed to contribute to discovering more information on the scandal because he repeated comments he made previously.

The LDP has recently been under fire after members failed to report large chunks of their income from fundraising and created “slush funds” with the proceeds. Many alleged members of the scandal are expected to appear before the committee, possibly shedding light on methods used to keep the funds secret.

Kishida pledged to amend the political funds control law by introducing a “guilt by association” amendment. The amendment would force lawmakers to quit or bar them from participating in elections if members of their staff were convicted.