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Abe faction’s slush funds may reach 600 m. yen

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03 Jan 2024 12:01:09 GMT9
03 Jan 2024 12:01:09 GMT9

Tokyo: Lawmakers of the biggest faction of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party are believed to have created slush funds of nearly 100 million yen by not giving to the faction revenues in excess of sales quotas for fundraising party tickets over the five years to 2022, informed sources said Tuesday.

This means that slush funds created at the faction once headed by the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the five-year period may reach some 600 million yen, including about 500 million in revenues in excess of the quotas suspected of being kicked back from the faction to the lawmakers who sold the tickets and not being reported in political funds statements of the faction or the recipient members.

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, which has been investigating the high-profile political funds scandal involving the Abe faction, believes that it was necessary to report in the funds statements the excess revenues lawmakers kept as slush funds instead of giving to the faction.

According to the sources, the faction set sales quotas for fundraising party tickets for member lawmakers based on the number of times they have been elected to parliament and their positions, and revenues in excess of the quotas were kicked back to the lawmakers as slush funds.

In addition to the method of kicking back the money, there apparently was also a way in which lawmakers made the buyers of fundraising party tickets send the ticket price to their own bank accounts instead of the faction’s account and did not give the revenues in excess of their quotas to the faction. More than 10 lawmakers are suspected of using the latter method to create nearly 100 million yen in slush funds in 2018-2022, a period for which the statute of limitations for the crime of failing to record funds or making false statements in political funds reports has yet to expire, the sources said.

JIJI Press

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