Prime Minister Kishida to deliver Diet speech amid uproar over funds scandal

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will deliver a policy speech in the Diet on Tuesday. He is expected to stress his resolve to restore public trust in the wake of a fundraising scandal involving factions of his main governing Liberal Democratic Party.

Kishida is likely to call for legislative measures, including revisions to the political funds control law. He will also state that LDP factions will fully relinquish their role in money matters and in securing key posts for their members.

The scandal has led to the indictments of current and former lawmakers, as well as their treasurers. They face charges of failing to fully report revenue from political fundraising parties, in violation of the law.

The Diet session opened last Friday. The prime minister's policy speech is normally delivered on the first day. But in an extraordinary move, the speech was pushed back, while committee sessions on politics and money were held on Monday.

In one of the sessions, Kishida was pressed by an opposition lawmaker to swiftly find out what exactly happened within the LDP factions and among party lawmakers over their handling of political funds.

Kishida replied that the party will try to establish the facts by interviewing those involved. He said the LDP would also like to think about political responsibility.

Opposition parties are expected to further grill the prime minister during the question-and-answer sessions that follow his policy speech. They are likely to call for faction executives and others to be summoned to the Diet to give sworn or unsworn testimonies.