Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi voiced hope Wednesday that the Political Funds Control Law will be revised during the ongoing extraordinary Diet session.
Koizumi had earlier appeared reluctant to address the matter due to stiff opposition within his own Liberal Democratic Party.
“I understand that each party has its ideas as to whether there are things that should be changed for the better,” he told Wednesday’s session of the House of Councilors Budget Committee.
Parties “must continue to hold consultations to see what kinds of improvements can be made. I’m hoping that they come up with a definite plan during the current Diet session.”
Koizumi was responding to Katsuya Ogawa, a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker who said political funds should always be kept under close observation and be open to public scrutiny.
The largest LDP faction allegedly received an undeclared 100 million yen check from the political arm of the Japan Dental Association in July 2001.
The LDP and junior coalition partner New Komeito are discussing the possibility of revising the law to cap donations between political bodies set up by industrial associations and politicians.
Earlier in the day, Kenji Kosaka, the LDP’s deputy Diet affairs chief, said revisions to the law could be enacted by the end of next month if the proposed legislation reflects a consensus between both the ruling and opposition camps.
Also Wednesday, Yoshio Hachiro, Diet affairs chief of the DPJ, urged Koizumi to dismiss Justice Minister Chieko Noono over her inconsistent responses during a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee the previous day.
She delayed the session by repeatedly changing her answer to a question by a DPJ lawmaker about whether prosecutors had told her about the dental association donation scandal.
Noono “lacks the qualifications for a minister and cannot be allowed to stay in (her) job,” Hachiro told a news conference.
He said that the opposition might submit a no-confidence motion against Noono if Koizumi rejects its demand that she be dismissed.
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