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The House of Lords committee begins deliberations on the revision of the political funds law; Stricter penalties are proposed for violations of political funds


The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Special Committee on Political Reform of the House of Councilors will meet on Monday in the Reichstag building.

The Special Committee on Political Reform of the House of Councilors began substantive deliberation on Monday on a bill submitted by the Liberal Democratic Party to, among other things, revise the Political Funds Control Act, in response to a series of political funds scandals involving its factions were involved.

“This is a proposal that guarantees thorough prevention of recurrence and effectiveness,” said LDP member Keisuke Suzuki, seeking understanding for the bill.

The bill proposes a harsher penalty. Lawmakers would have to prepare a document showing that they checked the political fund reports, and could be fined up to ¥500,000 if their checks were insufficient in case their treasurers falsified the reports.

“Lawmakers could no longer use the excuse that they did not know and left the matter to their treasurer,” Suzuki emphasized.

However, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Hiroto Kumagai questioned the effectiveness of such a document.

Kumagai pointed out that details on some issues, including disclosure of how money is spent for political activities, are left as “items to be studied in the future” and mentions this in an additional clause of the bill.

“These are all ‘subjects to be studied’. I hope there will be clarity by the end of this year,” Kumagai said.

Suzuki said only, “We should start studying them as soon as possible,” but insisted that the bill should be discussed from a neutral point of view.

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