Koizumi pushes for fund law change

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called Wednesday for a revision to the Political Funds Control Law in response to a scandal in which an unreported 100 million yen was paid to the largest faction of his Liberal Democratic Party.

Koizumi told Taro Aso, minister of internal affairs and communications, to consider legal steps so that political parties can receive small donations from supporters in a transparent manner, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a news conference.

The move is apparently aimed at dealing with the scandal ahead of an extraordinary Diet session expected to start next month. The scandal led Sunday to the indictment of former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka for allegedly backing a plan to hide a 100 million yen political donation the faction received from the scandal-tainted Japan Dental Association in July 2001.

The envisaged changes include setting an upper limit on the amount of donations between political organizations and limiting the means of donation to transactions through financial institutions to ensure transparency, Hosoda said.