The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the New Komeito, agreed Thursday to put an annual cap of 50 million yen on donations by registered political groups other than political parties and their fund management bodies, coalition lawmakers said.
The agreement was reached amid debate on revising the Political Funds Control Law, which has become a key issue for the ongoing extraordinary Diet session in the aftermath of a recent scandal over the concealment of a 100 million yen donation to the LDP’s largest faction from a dental lobby.
The law currently bans individual politicians from receiving money from businesses and other organized supporters but puts no limit on donations made by registered political groups, including political associations formed by individuals and corporations.
The coalition is considering submitting a bill to revise the law during the current extraordinary session, which ends Dec. 3, they said.
The coalition is also expected to seek support from the opposition camp, which has been demanding stricter controls to prevent diversions, the lawmakers said.
New Komeito had sought measures to prevent politicians sidestepping the ban on receiving donations from organized supporters by diverting the donations to political groups.
Diverted donations refer to money given by private companies and individuals to political parties with the aim of having that money eventually reach politicians.
In the latest scandal, former Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka and Toshiyuki Takigawa, who was top treasurer of the largest LDP faction then led by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, have been indicted for allegedly hiding 100 million yen received in 2001 from the Japan Dental Association in violation of the law.
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