A string of surprise announcements came on Friday.

First, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was dissolving his faction within the Liberal Democratic Party owing to the ongoing political funding scandal involving slush funds and kickbacks. Then, former LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai announced that his own faction would be following suit. Shortly after, dynastic politician Tatsuo Fukuda revealed that he and other members of the faction previously led by late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had submitted a resolution to their leaders to disband the grouping — later adding that he would be leaving, no matter what, to establish his own political study group.

It was a dramatic turn of events after what appeared to be a slow start to the process of intraparty reforms. Following revelations of financial impropriety stemming from factions’ fundraising activities, many wondered if the political reform headquarters, a body set up by the LDP to address the scandal — which includes nine members of the Abe faction with questionable connections to the saga — would yield any results.