Japan's Lower House expected to pass bill to revise political funds control law

The Lower House of Japan's Diet is expected to pass a bill to revise the political funds control law on Thursday.

The main ruling Liberal Democratic Party amended the bill it submitted to include demands from its coalition partner Komeito and the Japan Innovation Party.

The bill mandates that lawmakers create a document to confirm the contents of their political funds reports. This is to introduce a system of "guilt by association."

The minimum threshold for disclosing the names of those who purchase fundraiser tickets will be lowered to 50,000 yen, or about 320 dollars. The current minimum is 200,000 yen, or about 1,280 dollars.

Lawmakers will be asked to publicize in detail how the policy activity fees provided by their party were used, and when the money was spent. They will be required to disclose the receipts and other relevant documents 10 years later.

The bill also calls for setting up a third-party body to ensure the transparency of policy activity fees.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio did not clarify when that would happen at a special committee session on Wednesday. He said discussions on what kind of authority the body would have and other issues will not be easy, but he thinks it is important to move the process forward as soon as possible.

The bill is expected to clear the Lower House plenary session on Thursday. It will then be sent to the Upper House.