National / Politics

Taro Aso was top fundraiser in Abe Cabinet in 2017, figures show

JIJI

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso raised ¥258.17 million in political funds in 2017, the highest amount in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a tally of reports submitted by political parties and groups showed Friday.

Aso was the only Cabinet member who raised more than ¥200 million, while Abe came second at ¥175.96 million.

Toshimitsu Motegi, economic and fiscal policy minister — who ranked No. 1 the previous year — was third at ¥166.54 million.

The average amount raised by Abe and his 19 Cabinet ministers stood at ¥94.65 million, according to the tally of the reports submitted to the internal affairs ministry and prefectural election administration commissions.

Seven Cabinet members each raised more than ¥100 million. Besides the three top fundraisers, they were Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, minister for science and technology policy Takuya Hirai, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto.

Aso collected ¥163.40 million in donations from individuals, companies and other groups, up some ¥90 million from the previous year and accounting for 60 percent of his political funds income. He raised ¥67.05 million at one fundraising party held in Tokyo in March 2017.

Abe raised a total of ¥73.05 million at three breakfast events, held between July and December 2017, with attendees including the lobbying groups of the Japan Medical Association and the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Associations of Japan. The amount made up 40 percent of his total.

Abe received ¥51.64 million in donations from companies and other groups, the second highest after Aso.

Seko collected ¥58.87 million in donations from individuals, the highest in the Cabinet, while Suga was the top earner in business income, including revenue from fundraising parties, with ¥83.34 million.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii raised the least in the Cabinet, while Satsuki Katayama, minister for regional revitalization, was second from the bottom.