• Kyodo

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Ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers raised ¥56.58 million each on average in political funds last year, by far the largest among the parties, data compiled by Kyodo News showed Friday.

The LDP dominated the list of the top 20 fund raisers in 2019, although first spot went to opposition heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa, who received ¥442.27 million due to a one-off factor, according to the data based on the lawmakers’ political funds reports.

Among opposition forces, Democratic Party for the People lawmakers raised ¥46.24 million on average, followed by those of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan with ¥26.07 million and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) with ¥25.53 million.

The total amount of funds, including donations by companies and other entities collected by Diet members’ fund management organizations and branches of political parties mostly headed by lawmakers, stood at ¥29.74 billion, up 14.1% from 2018.

The rise apparently reflects efforts by political parties to raise funds in the run-up to the election of the House of Councilors held in July 2019.

The average amount of funds raised among all Diet members was ¥43.61 million, with that for members of the House of Representatives standing at ¥44.97 million and Upper House members at ¥40.96 million, the data showed.

Parliamentarians belonging to the Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the LDP, collected ¥17.29 million on average.

CDP member Ozawa, a 17-term Lower House lawmaker who also served as LDP secretary general between 1989 and 1991, booked ¥340 million in both revenue and loss based on accounting rules, as his fund management organization forgave the same amount in loans to a now-defunct political party and its local branch.

LDP Upper House member Takashi Hanyuda ranked second, raising ¥195.19 million, and his fellow party upper chamber member Keizo Takemi came third with ¥191.24 million. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the LDP president who took office in September, took the 28th spot with ¥112.26 million.

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