LDP ethics panel tells party members penalties to be discussed Thursday

The ethics committee of Japan's main ruling Liberal Democratic Party has notified party members slated for punishment in connection with a fundraising scandal that their penalties will be discussed on Thursday.

The members received kickbacks from fundraiser ticket sales and failed to declare revenues.

The LDP leadership plans to punish 39 members, including four executives of the party's largest faction, once led by the late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

The faction decided to drop the practice of kickbacks in April 2022, but it continued after the four discussed the matter some months later.

The other members, many belonging to the Abe faction and the rest from a faction led by veteran lawmaker Nikai Toshihiro, failed to declare more than 5 million yen, or about 33,000 dollars, over a five-year period through 2022.

LDP Secretary-General Motegi Toshimitsu asked the ethics committee on Monday to discuss how the individuals should be punished.

The committee informed the 39 on Tuesday that they will be screened because their political and moral responsibilities are being called into question.

It added that if the individuals want to account for themselves, they should summarize their explanations on paper and submit it by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday.

The committee plans to decide on the punishments, taking into consideration the written accounts.