Japan's ruling LDP to come up with how to punish lawmakers in fund scandal

Executive members of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party plan to discuss how to punish lawmakers involved in the fund raising scandal.

The move follows remarks by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the party's annual convention on Sunday.

Kishida said that he had directed LDP Secretary-General Motegi Toshimitsu to come to a conclusion on punishment for the lawmakers whose offices failed to report kickbacks from their factions. Kishida said that the party will respond strictly through discussions within the Party Ethics Committee.

Motegi said that those involved in the scandal should not be punished uniformly. He said the party should not become an organization that is soft on its senior members and strict with others.

He indicated that the party should punish the senior members of its factions as strictly as possible in line with their responsibilities.

Some members of the LDP say that the party should come to a conclusion before Lower House by-elections next month.

The Constitutional Democratic Party and other opposition parties are expected to call for former LDP Upper House Secretary-General Seko Hiroshige to be summoned to the Diet to give sworn testimonies.
Seko was a senior member of the faction once led by the late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

The faction was the largest among LDP factions.

The opposition camp is also expected to ask former LDP policy chief Shimomura Hakubun, who also belonged to the Abe faction, why the faction continued to pay kickbacks to its members.

Shimomura discussed with three other senior members of the party how to deal with kickbacks in August 2022.

The opposition parties argue that there are discrepancies in the explanations given by the three, and they want Shimomura to provide an explanation.