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Fiscal policy chief Toshimitsu Motegi named Cabinet’s top fundraiser for 2016

JIJI

Economic and fiscal policy minister Toshimitsu Motegi was the top fundraiser in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet in 2016, a tally of reports submitted by political parties and groups showed Friday.

Motegi raised ¥156.55 million in political funds, followed by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso with ¥150.34 million and Abe with ¥146.46 million.

On average, Abe and his 19 ministers raised ¥81.73 million.

In addition to the top three, six other ministers collected more than ¥100 million each, including education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko.

Motegi collected about half his money, ¥77.42 million, at four fundraising parties in Tokyo. He received ¥44.54 million from more than 200 groups and ¥1.3 million from the lobbies of the Japan Medical Association and the Japan Pharmaceutical Association.

About half of the money Aso collected was through donations, with those from companies and groups totaling ¥69.62 million, the most in the Cabinet.

Abe raised ¥68.29 million from groups including the lobbies for the Japan Medical Association and the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Associations of Japan, at three fundraising parties in Tokyo.

Abe bested the leaders of Japan’s eight major parties for the third straight year. Kibo no To (Party of Hope) leader Yuichiro Tamaki came in a distant second with ¥54.67 million raised.

METI chief Seko, however, stood out for donations received from individuals, raising ¥62.40 million — the most in the Cabinet and far more than Abe’s ¥25.66 million.

At the bottom of the list was transport minister Keiichi Ishii with ¥13.12 million.