As a growing scandal over slush funds involving the ruling Liberal Democratic Party intensifies, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has turned to damage control, asking party executives on Wednesday to refrain from hosting fundraising events "until the party clarifies its efforts to restore the public’s trust."

After a meeting with party executives, Kishida emphasized the need to address the matter with a sense of urgency, as the scandal has dented the public's confidence in elected officials.

“We will continue to reflect on and take necessary measures as a party as we gain a better understanding of the situation,” Kishida told reporters, adding that he had called on factions to avoid hosting year-end and New Year’s holiday parties.