Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeBlogJapanese lawmakers begin talks over control of political funds

Japanese lawmakers begin talks over control of political funds

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo (Jiji Press) – Japanese lawmakers on Friday began discussions on revising the Political Fund Control Law in the wake of a high-profile slush fund scandal involving the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition camps gave their views on the revision of the law during the opening meeting of the Special Committee on Political Reforms in the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament.

While the LDP and opposition parties agreed that lawmakers should have greater responsibility for monitoring law violations by political funds, they had different views on how to hold them accountable. The two parties also clashed over whether to continue allowing political donations by companies and organizations and spending on policy activities.

On whether a “debt-by-association” system should be introduced to hold lawmakers accountable for failing to include funds in political fund reports prepared by their staffs, the LDP’s Keitaro Ono urged for clarification on the responsibility of lawmakers for overseeing those responsible for accounting.

Ono suggested that lawmakers should be required to produce a document confirming that there are no errors in their political fund reports. If lawmakers don’t properly audit their reports and their accountants are punished for unreported funds, lawmakers should be hit with civil rights suspensions, he said.

Hirofumi Ryu of Japan’s main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party said lawmakers and accounting officers should have “shared responsibility.” He said lawmakers, not just their accounting officers, should be required to sign their political fund reports. Ryu suggested that lawmakers should be given civil rights suspensions for cases of unreported funds due to intentional or gross negligence.

The CDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) and the Japanese Communist Party all called for a ban on political donations from companies and groups, as well as spending on policy activities.

Yasuhiro Nakagawa of Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, urged that the breakdown of spending on political activities be made public.

While the LDP’s Ono was open to discussions on political donations and spending on policy activities, he emphasized the need for comprehensive conversations that also address topics such as the transparency of union political activities. The Japan Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, the umbrella body of the country’s labor unions, backs the CDP and another opposition group, the People’s Democratic Party.

Tetsuya Shiokawa of the JCP suggested that the special committee be tasked with uncovering the entire picture of the LDP’s money scandal.

Shinji Nagatomo of the DPFP proposed setting up an external organization to come up with policy proposals on political funds.

The special committee for political reforms in the House of Councilors, the upper house of parliament, will meet on May 10.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Translate »