LDP to reprimand about 40 lawmakers over fundraising scandal

NHK has learned that Japan's main governing Liberal Democratic Party plans to reprimand about 40 lawmakers over a fundraising scandal involving some of its factions.

The lawmakers in question received kickbacks from fundraiser ticket sales and failed to declare revenues.

They include four executives of the party's largest faction once led by the late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, and lawmakers who failed to declare more than 5 million yen, or about 33,000 dollars, over the five years until 2022.

LDP leaders plan to impose heavier penalties on the four Abe faction executives. The faction decided to drop the practice of kickbacks in April 2022, but it continued after the four discussed the matter some months later.

Abe faction executives could be advised to leave the party -- the second-heaviest measure in the party's eight-tier reprimand system.

Separately, lawmakers who failed to declare less than 5 million yen would be cautioned by LDP Secretary-General Motegi Toshimitsu.

LDP leaders will not punish veteran lawmaker Nikai Toshihiro, who has announced that he will not run in the next general election to take responsibility for his faction's involvement in the scandal.

The leaders hope the party's Ethics Committee will decide on the punishment as soon as Thursday.