Inside the Off-the-Books Kickback Allegations Rocking Japan's Government

Japan news today Fumio Kishida news Hirokazu Matsuno news Japan government corruption
Fumio Kishida
The administration of Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has come under intense criticism as the majority of his cabinet members, including the government spokesman., Hirokazu Matsuno, who is officially recognized as Chief Cabinet Secretary and the former Secretary-General of the Abe Faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is being accused of gross financial misappropriation.

Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida had appointed members of the Abe-faction of the LDP into the key positions in his administration, as a result, the current trend of criticism that the Abe-faction of the LDP face may further worsen the already diminished acceptability of Kishida’s administration within the citizens.

Matsuno and other stakeholders of the LDP who are also holding key positions in the cabinet of Prime Minister Kishida are being accused of failing to record or record false entries of the party funds at their disposal. The money was said to have been generated through “fundraising” and it got to an alleged lump sum of around 100 million yen.

Matsuno alone is said to allegedly be in possession of over 10 million yen while other money was allegedly withheld in the private accounts of other party leaders who are major members of the Abe-faction of the LDP.

Prime Minister Kishida appointed 99 members of the Abe-faction of the LDP to key positions under his administration while 56 members of the Aso-faction of the LDP and 53 members of the Motegi-faction of the party were appointed into key positions under the administration of PM Kishida.

Worsening the situation, some members of the Abe-faction, despite the public criticism, see nothing wrong in the alleged financial scandal as some within the LDP opined “It wasn’t taxpayers’ money, but rather funds that were raised by the lawmakers themselves and returned to them as expenses for political activities.”

However, some of the public prosecutors insisted that “The problem is not the kickbacks per se, but rather the fact that [the people in question] didn’t record them properly in their income and expenditure reports. [Using such money] as off-the-books funds is an act that runs counter to the spirit of the law for clarifying political funds,” Japan News media agency, Yomiuri reported.

Matsuno may be forced to resign his position any moment from now, and this is said to be strange to the politics of Japan where it is unusual for a Chief Cabinet Secretary to resin following an allegation of financial misappropriation, and it is difficult to weigh the political damage it will cause the Cabinet.

Matsuno is not just the Chief Cabinet Secretary, he is a very powerful and hardworking member of the cabinet of Prime Minister Kishida, and he assists the administration in resolving diplomatic issues including the abduction of Japanese citizens in North Korea and reducing the burden borne by Okinawa vis-a-vis hosting U.S bases in the prefecture. He is also the highest mobilizer of domestic supporters for Prime Minister Kishida’s administration.

Matsuno is not the only member of the Abe-faction of LDP who is facing allegations relating to mismanagement of the kickback, others include Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister for the Economy, Trade, and Industry; Junji Suzuki, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications; Ichiro Miyashita, the Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Tsuyoshi Takagi, the chairperson of the Diet Affairs Committee and Secretary general of the Abe Faction; Hiroshige Seko, Secretary general for the LDP in the House of Councillors, although Nishimuda claims he is not culprit.

Nishimura said, “I’m having my political funds carefully checked again, and I’ll fulfill my duty by explaining [the findings] at some point.”

Category: World-News
Tag: Japan news today Fumio Kishida news Hirokazu Matsuno news Japan government corruption
Written by Author (author)
Published 12/9/2023 7:57:50 PM

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