Political fundraising in Tokyo up 7%

Politicians based in the Tokyo metropolitan area raised 25.12 billion yen in political funds in 2001, up 6.8 percent from the previous year, according to a political funds report released Wednesday by the Tokyo Election Administration Commission.

Political outlays in 2001 — an election year for the House of Councilors and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly — rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 19.32 billion yen.

The report, based on political funding statements filed by 3,908 political groups, shows that fundraising parties have become the money-raising method of choice among political organizations.

The report states that 100 groups held fundraising parties last year, the highest number over the past five years.

Political donations have come from sources ranging from secretaries to politicians.

According to a Kyodo News survey, nine Diet members elected from the Tokyo area received a total of about 15 million yen in political donations from 18 government-paid secretaries.

According to data released in September by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, 34 Diet members — including Kiyomi Tsujimoto, who resigned from the Diet in late March — received political donations from government-paid secretaries.

A breakdown of the Tokyo Election Administration Commission report shows that political funds raised under the name of political parties rose 4.8 percent from a year earlier to 13.14 billion yen.

Political funds raised by politicians or organizations other than political parties increased 9 percent from the previous year to 11.98 billion yen.

The total expenditure of political parties grew 4.4 percent to 11.47 billion yen.

Meanwhile the expenditure of individual politicians and organizations other than political parties rose 17.8 percent to 7.85 billion yen.

Corporate and institutional donations fell 4 percent from a year earlier to 846 million yen.

New Komeito reported a twofold increase in political donations from corporations and other organizations.

Mushozoku-no-Kai, an independents club, saw a 1.5-fold increase, while the Liberal Democratic Party said political donations leveled off in 2001.

Other political parties reported lower corporate and institutional donations.

The Japanese Communist Party does not receive any corporate donations as a matter of policy.

The decline in individual donations was more prominent, down 7.5 percent to 2.87 billion yen.

While the LDP, the Democratic Party of Japan, the JCP and Mushozoku-no-Kai managed to attract more individual donations, donations to other political parties declined.

The JCP reported the highest income in 2001 at 2.46 billion yen. New Komeito ranked second, reporting income of 855 million yen, while the LDP ranked third with 726 million yen.