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LDP leads field in revenue as party donations rise

Kyodo

The Liberal Democratic Party raised more revenue in 2014 than any other party, enjoying a return to donation levels last seen before the party lost power in 2009, government data showed Friday.

An annual report on political funds released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed that the LDP received ¥23.43 billion in 2014, up 0.6 percent from a year before. It led the field for a second consecutive year. The figures illustrate the LDP’s strong connections with big business.

In 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration slashed corporate tax and called for sweeping monetary easing as part of a growth-oriented policy mix dubbed “Abenomics.”

He announced his intention to call an election and to postpone a hike in consumption tax on Nov. 18 that year, one day after Toray Industries Inc. donated ¥40 million to the LDP’s political funds organization.

Toray is the former home of Sadayuki Sakakibara, head of the Japan Business Federation, better known as Keidanren. In September of that year, Sakakibara said the body would urge its 1,300 member companies to resume making political donations.

Abe, meanwhile, raked in ¥184.73 million in 2014 via six political organizations he is involved in, the largest amount since 2012, the year he kicked off his second stint as prime minister. He gathered ¥220.19 million that year.

Meanwhile, the smaller Japanese Communist Party closely followed the LDP, with revenue falling 0.3 percent to ¥22.48 billion. In third place, the LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito saw its revenue fall by 7.9 percent to ¥13.14 billion.

The Democratic Party of Japan ranked the fourth, with its revenue falling 17.4 percent to ¥7.79 billion.

The DPJ’s figure represents a 60.2 percent plunge from its revenue of ¥19.56 billion in 2012, when the party was in power, and is largely due to decreased party subsidies distributed in proportion to the number of seats held in parliament and the number of votes cast. The DPJ lost power in the House of Councillors election of 2013.

The Japan Innovation Party secured revenue of ¥2.23 billion in the reporting year, followed by the Party for Future Generations at ¥1.52 billion, and the Social Democratic Party at ¥970 million.

Total revenue received by political parties and organizations fell 5.4 percent to ¥107.22 billion, of which donations from companies and organizations rose 3.9 percent to ¥2.57 billion, the report showed.

Party subsidies accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total revenue, or ¥31.51 billion. Revenue from fund-raising totaled ¥7.47 billion, nearly half the peak level in 2004 of ¥14.26 billion, but such income has increased since 2012.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    Hardly surprising that people getting rich from Abe’s pork-barrel spending of the nations tax revenues would ‘pay a little back’ to Abe’s party as a ‘donation’ is it? Why not call it what it is; bribes and kick-backs.