Japan ruling party working team set to discuss revisions to political funds law

A working team put together by Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party is set to start discussing potential revisions to the political funds control law. The party has been rocked by a political funding scandal involving some of its factions.

The team is headed up by former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Suzuki Keisuke. It is one of three working groups put together by the party's taskforce on political reform. It will hold its first meeting on Tuesday.

The team is expected to debate whether a guilt-by-association provision should be added to the law. It could enable a lawmaker to be held accountable, along with his or her treasurer, if the treasurer is charged with wrongdoing.

Presently, information regarding the purchaser of a fundraising party ticket must only be included in a political funds report, if the amount paid is over a certain amount of money. The team will discuss whether the threshold amount should be lowered.

The Lower House Budget Committee will continue to debate next year's fiscal year budget bill this week.

The committee will hold a debate about the political funds issue on Wednesday. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and relevant Cabinet ministers are expected to attend.

The opposition camp, including the largest Constitutional Democratic Party, will continue grilling the prime minister about the scandal. Some of the parties intend to call for political donations from businesses and others to be banned.

The opposition camp plans to call for a meeting of the Lower House's Deliberative Council on Political Ethics to be held. Opposition lawmakers say senior members of the two LDP factions at the center of the scandal need to testify during hearings.

One of the factions was once led by late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and the other was headed by Nikai Toshihiro, a party heavyweight. Both factions have decided to disband.