Members of a new group within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Thursday to decide by mid-July their stance on an opposition-proposed bill to prevent political corruption, a move that is likely to upset senior LDP members.
The Group to Create the LDP of Tomorrow, which consisted of 42 members as of Thursday, criticized the LDP’s executive board for not taking steps to prevent corruption — particularly in light of the opposition camp’s quick move to jointly submit a bill to the Lower House on Wednesday banning lawmakers from receiving goods in return for political favors.
The group will also discuss the controversial scheme to forgive debts held by Sogo Co., an ailing department store operator.
Nobuteru Ishihara, the group’s leader, emphasized that they are not aiming to create a power that will oppose the executive board.
But he harshly criticized Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka and other senior members for appointing portfolios in Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s new Cabinet based on factional pressures rather than ability.
Ishihara also said the group will consider putting a candidate forward in future LDP presidential races.