Political parties and groups raised 132.8 billion yen in funds during 2005, down 3.8 percent, or 5.3 billion yen, from the previous year, the lowest since the bubble economy collapsed in the early 1990s, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said Thursday.
Spending reported by political groups fell 2.8 percent, or 4.0 billion yen, to 135.8 billion yen, the second-lowest level in the post-bubble years, after the 124.6 billion yen reported in 2002.
The amount of political funds usually increases in an election year, but the report shows political parties and groups failed to boost their funds in 2005, when the House of Representatives was dissolved in August for a general election in September.
The report covers incomes and expenditures for the 2005 calendar year for political parties, their fundraising bodies, and political groups active in two or more prefectures.
A total of 3,887 organizations filed funds reports, which are required under the Political Funds Control Law.
The ministry’s report does not include the funds that political organizations active in a single prefecture report to the prefectural election management commissions. Those figures will be released later.
Of the funds raised, donations accounted for 25.1 billion yen, down 4.9 percent, or 1.3 billion yen, which is the second-lowest level — after 24.3 billion yen in 2002 — since the ministry began compiling the figures in 1976.
The donations include 3.4 billion yen from corporations and organizations, down 3.8 percent, and 6.4 billion yen from individuals, down 3.5 percent. The amount of donations from corporations and organizations hit a new low after 3.7 billion yen reported in 2002.
Income from fundraising events fell 13.1 percent, or 1.9 billion yen, to 12.4 billion yen. The number of organizations that hosted parties came to 360, a decrease of 47.
The Japanese Communist Party reported the most income, at 28.4 billion yen, down 5.6 percent from 30.1 billion yen in 2004. The JCP’s income fell below 30 billion yen for the first time in 16 years because of a decline in the number of subscriptions to its newspaper, Shimbun Akahata.
The governing Liberal Democratic Party raised 26.2 billion yen, a slight drop from 26.4 billion yen in 2004, while the No. 1 opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, generated 14.1 billion yen, the same as the previous year. The LDP’s coalition partner, New Komeito, reported 16.1 billion yen, compared with 16.2 billion yen in 2004.
The Social Democratic Party raised 2 billion yen, the People’s New Party 300 million yen, the Liberal League 200 million yen, and the New Party Nippon 100 million yen.
Government subsidies for political parties totaled 31.7 billion yen. The JCP, which largely depends on its Akahata subscriptions for income, refuses to accept the subsidies.
As for individual politicians, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe raised 204.3 million yen during 2005 — the most of the LDP’s three prime ministerial hopefuls. Abe’s figure topped 135.6 million yen for Foreign Minister Taro Aso and 42.7 million yen for Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, according to reports by their fund-management bodies.
Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s faction, to which Abe belongs, garnered 573.9 million yen in political funds — the most among LDP factions.
DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa raised 339.1 million yen, down 41.6 percent, and Prime Minister Koizumi 58 million yen, up 12.5 percent.
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