Japanese Political Party Changes Regulations Amid Slush Funds Scandal

The Japanese Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) will revise the current rules to increase governance after the slush fund scandal, stating it will avoid factions to secure funding and permitting government and party positions for lawmakers on March 7th.

The updated rules, set for approval later this month at an annual convention, allow factions to resume as “policy groups” while demanding lawmakers be held accountable when accused of being involved in a political funds scandal. The new rule comes after a scandal emerged after members of the LDP failed to report parts of their incomes from fundraising and thus created “slush funds,” which went on for years.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the situation that the LDP is tackling “truly serious and we must make a fundamental fresh start without being bound by precedent or custom” at a meeting on March 7th.

The current laws only ensure provisions for the officials being arrested or indicted in a criminal trial but do not mention accountants. The proposed ruling specifies that the party can request the members to resign from the LDP should an accountant be arrested.