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LDP’s Abe named top political fundraiser among party leaders in 2011

Kyodo

Liberal Democratic Party chief Shinzo Abe raised the most funds among party leaders last year but Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who heads the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, only placed sixth, according to government data.

Abe, a former prime minister who was appointed president of the main opposition party in September, raked in some ¥192.66 million in 2011, around 70 percent of which stemmed from fundraising parties and related events, an annual report on political funds by the internal affairs ministry showed Friday.

Convicted bribe-taker Muneo Suzuki, who heads the small New Party Daichi but is disqualified from holding a Diet seat, ranked second with just over ¥117 million, followed by the ¥107.5 million raised by Shozaburo Jimi, leader of Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), the DPJ’s junior coalition partner.

Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who now heads Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), placed fourth with ¥89.1 million, while Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party) chief Yoichi Masuzoe came in fifth with ¥50.5 million.

Noda raised only ¥45.7 million in funds, followed by Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe with ¥16.2 million, New Party Nippon head Yasuo Tanaka with ¥9.8 million, New Komeito chief Natsuo Yamaguchi with ¥8.6 million and Social Democratic Party President Mizuho Fukushima with ¥8.2 million.

Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, who only founded Nippon Mirai no To (Japan Future Party) on Wednesday, collected ¥6.6 million, while Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii raised no funds, as he does not operate a political fund management body.

By party, however, the JCP raked in the most money, at ¥23.4 billion last year, followed by the DPJ’s ¥20.2 billion, the LDP’s ¥13.9 billion and New Komeito’s ¥12.7 billion.

The SDP only raised ¥1.4 billion, Your Party ¥1.2 billion and Kokumin Shinto ¥440 million.