Bill to Revise Political Fund Control Law Clears Lower House

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Bill to Revise Political Fund Control Law Clears Lower House

A legislative bill aiming to revise the Political Fund Control Law successfully made its way through the Lower House on June 6, in an effort to address and prevent a fund-raising scandal that has plagued the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The bill represents a compromise reached by the LDP with its coalition partner, Komeito, and the opposition Nippon Ishin, where certain demands were met and modifications were made to the initial proposal.

Parties like Free Education for All, who is a relatively new addition to the political landscape, also threw their support behind the bill, which is anticipated to be enacted prior to the close of the current ordinary Diet session on June 23. With majority control in the Upper House by the four collaborating parties, the bill's passage is expected, despite opposition from parties like the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, and the Democratic Party for the People, who voted against it.

The bill primarily focuses on addressing issues that arose from a scandal involving unreported revenues from fund-raising parties organized by LDP factions. Introduced by the LDP itself in the Lower House on May 17 after failing to secure support from Komeito, the bill includes provisions such as the identification of buyers of tickets to fund-raising events costing more than 200,000 yen, a measure agreed upon to garner approval from Komeito. Additionally, the bill incorporates the proposal from Nippon Ishin to reveal the expenditure of policy activity funds by politicians a decade later, as part of the efforts to gain wider support for the bill. Despite these concessions, more radical suggestions from opposition parties like banning political donations from corporations and eliminating policy activity expenses were dismissed by the LDP.