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DIET

Lower House Budget Committee executives discuss next week's schedule in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 22, 2024
Committee probing LDP funds scandal set to open next week
The committee will likely gather next Wednesday and Thursday to interrogate five senior LDP lawmakers over their involvement in a kickback scheme.
The LDP's Takuo Komori stepped down from his post as parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs after it was revealed he had underreported political funds.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 21, 2024
Will the LDP funding scandal change Japanese politics?
What can we learn from the LDP funding scandal? One thing is certain: The saga fits a pattern that is anything but unseen in Japanese politics.
Former Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 21, 2024
Senior LDP members likely to appear before ethics committee next week
While the opposition said the willingness of additional LDP figures to answer questions was an improvement, they called for more to step up.
Education Minister Masahito Moriyama bows to parliament after a motion of no confidence against him was voted down in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 20, 2024
Japan opposition fails with censure motion against education minister
The CDP's move against a Unification Church-linked minister came as the party also called for questioning over a slush funds scandal.
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Kazunori Yamanoi shows a Liberal Democratic Party survey about a slush funds scandal to reporters in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 16, 2024
LDP survey doesn't quell demand from opposition for ethics hearing
The scandal, and the demand to convene a meeting of the ethics committee, have Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a political bind.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replies to a question from CDP lawmaker Kazunori Yamanoi at a Lower House budget committee session in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 14, 2024
Kishida calls ethics committee hearing 'a matter for parliament to decide'
The prime minister declined to voice support for a political ethics committee investigation into LDP members caught up in a slush-fund scandal.
A Lower House budget session discusses the political fund scandal in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 13, 2024
LDP survey shows 85 members failed to report political funds
The survey’s results are unlikely to bring an end to the scandal, with its methods criticized by opposition parties as inadequate and lacking objectivity.
Education minister Masahito Moriyama (right) responds to questions from Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Chinami Nishimura in the Lower House on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 7, 2024
Education minister under fire for unreported ties to Unification Church
Masahito Moriyama said he could not remember 2021 meeting with the group or the agreement he signed with it for electoral support.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a Lower House budget committee session in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 6, 2024
Kishida insists corporate donations have no effect on LDP policy
The responses came during Lower House budget committee questions from Akira Nagatsuma, policy chief of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida waits for the start of the Lower House Budget Committee in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 5, 2024
Parties clash over release of LDP's internal funds scandal probe
The opposition had demanded that the LDP publish a list of all party members responsible for the underreporting of political funds in the last five years.
Former Prime Minister Taro Aso speaks during a forum in Taipei in August.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 2, 2024
Ex-PM Aso retracts sexist remarks against top diplomat
In a speech on Sunday, Aso described Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa as an "obasan."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a Lower House plenary session in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 31, 2024
Kishida faces heat from all sides over political funds scandal
The prime minister finds himself in hot water not only with the main opposition party, but also with his own ruling party.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a policy speech during a plenary session of the Lower House in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 30, 2024
Kishida comes full circle in policy speech with emphasis on 'power'
Amid low approval ratings and soul-searching for the ruling party, the prime minister made "power" a key theme in his policy speech.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa vows to promote a "mutually beneficial" relationship with China in a diplomatic policy speech on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 30, 2024
Japan foreign minister wants 'mutually beneficial' ties with China
Kamikawa also expressed wariness over intensifying military cooperation between China, Russia and North Korea.
Lawmakers observe a moment of silence for victims of the New Year's Day quake on Friday at a Lower House plenary session.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 26, 2024
Japan's Diet starts 150-day session, with LDP funds scandal in focus
The government's response to the New Year's Day earthquake in central Japan is also likely to be a key item on the agenda.
The Liberal Democratic Party headquarters in Tokyo. In the wake of a political funding scandal, some are calling for the dissolution of the LDP's factions.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 16, 2024
Eliminating factions isn’t the answer to the funding scandal
In the wake of a political funding scandal that has embroiled the LDP, some are calling for the dissolution of the party's factions. That would be a mistake.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi (second from left) attends a Lower House steering committee meeting in Tokyo Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 16, 2024
Japan parliament to convene 150-day regular session on Jan. 26
Once the parliament opens, opposition parties are set to grill Kishida, who heads the LDP, over a secret slush fund scandal.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida faces reporters at the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Jan 8, 2024
LDP lawmaker arrest further blurs Japan PM's fate
Yoshitaka Ikeda became the first lawmaker arrested in the latest political fundraising scandal involving the LDP's largest faction.
Officials with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office raids the office of Lowr House lawmaker Mito Kakizawa in Tokyo's Edo Ward in November.
JAPAN / Politics
Jan 6, 2024
Lawmaker Mito Kakizawa to admit to vote-buying allegations
The Lower House lawmaker's admission to vote-buying allegations in a Tokyo mayoral election will come after an initial denial.
Reporters gather in front of the Upper House parliamentary building on Thursday in Tokyo. Prosecutors raided LDP lawmaker Yasutada Ono's office, which is located in the building, the same day.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Dec 28, 2023
Second LDP member’s office raided over political funds scandal
Upper House member Yasutada Ono became the second lawmaker to have his offices searched by prosecutors in connection with the scandal.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation