Charges dropped against Kishida, other LDP members in slush fund case

by Jul 9, 2024Featured Article, News

Prosecutors decided Monday not to indict Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and seven other senior Liberal Democratic Party members over a political funds scandal that has dogged Japan’s ruling party since last year, citing a lack of evidence, sources close to the matter said.

The lawmakers from three LDP factions, which had been accused of violating the political funds control law by failing to report fundraising revenue, also include Toshimitsu Motegi, the party’s secretary general, and Toshihiro Nikai, who previously held the post.

The prosecutors also reached similar conclusions regarding the other eight current and former LDP lawmakers, as well as accountants and clerical staff of their affiliated political groups.

The scandal centers on funds raised by lawmakers from selling tickets for party faction events that exceeded their assigned quotas. These excess funds were allegedly not recorded in political funds reports and were transferred to the lawmakers.

Hiroshi Kamiwaki, a constitutional professor at Kobe Gakuin University, among others, investigated the allegations and submitted criminal complaints over the case with prosecutors.

In January, several individuals belonging to party factions, including a former accountant of the group formerly led by Kishida, were indicted over the scandal.