Allegations of slush funds by six executives of the Seiwa-kai are the “opening chapter.”…… “Complaints continue to mount about free college education,” putting the Kishida administration in an even more difficult position. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Allegations of slush funds by six executives of the Seiwa-kai are the “opening chapter.”…… “Complaints continue to mount about free college education,” putting the Kishida administration in an even more difficult position.

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The Kanji character for this year is “tax,” and while the burden on the Japanese people is increasing, Prime Minister Kishida is unable to take effective measures to cope with the situation. ……

The Japanese people are becoming poorer day by day, while politicians are “happy” with the huge amount of slush funds collected from political fund-raising parties. The Japanese people are becoming poorer and poorer every day, while the politicians are “enjoying themselves” with the huge amount of slush funds collected at political parties.

The administration has been rocked by allegations that senior members of the LDP’s largest faction, the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyukai (Seiwa Policy Research Association), or the “Abe faction,” the “power core” behind the Kishida administration, have been receiving kickbacks in the form of slush funds one after the other.

The Asahi Shimbun has accelerated its pursuit of the case. On December 8, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, and on December 9, former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Tadashi Shioya, who effectively serves as the top “chairperson,” were named as the “suspects” in the case. The report then reported that, in addition to Matsuno, the faction’s leading figures, known as the “Five,” included National Diet Policy Committee Chairman Takeshi Takagi, Upper House Secretary-General Hiroshige Seko, Policy Research Council Chairman Kōichi Hagiuda, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, and, on December 12, the majority of the approximately 100 Abe faction members had been returned. The turnover of key officials is likely to be strong.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno is the government’s spokesman, and as a rule must hold two regular press conferences, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. While it may be agony from the standpoint of those who are being questioned about the slush fund, Matsuno only mechanically reads out the text, giving a thorough “cut-and-dried answer” and stating that “the government refrains from giving a response as it is the government’s position. His iron-clad defense has earned him the nickname “Armadillo Matsuno” in some circles.

The names of several council members have been mentioned, but this is only the beginning. The Special Investigation Department is expected to move in earnest to build a case against the lawmakers after the Diet session is closed, as they will no longer have the right to arrest anyone.

Since the death of former Prime Minister Abe, corruption at the Tokyo Olympics, the LDP’s cozy relationship with the Unification Church, and the faction’s slush fund problem have begun to come to light one after another, all of which were supposed to be “sacred areas. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office says that there is absolutely no discovery at all by the current administration, and I hope that they will thoroughly remove all the pus.

The question is, what was the slush fund used for? There is a possibility that he will make an excuse that the money was diverted for his secretary’s salary or political activities, but since the money is not colored, it would not be known if he used it for personal entertainment expenses such as debt repayment, cabaret clubs, or pachinko games, for example. We hope that the Special Investigation Department will also investigate the personal accounts of related parties, the individual himself, and his relatives, etc., in order to “eliminate the lice.

The next public opinion polls by the media will be closely watched. The average approval rating for the Cabinet is still below 30%, the lowest since its inauguration.

Prime Minister Kishida must feel that his administration is in danger of collapse. He immediately decided to oust Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno and is trying to make up for it, but this is just “water under the stone. The proposal for free college tuition for households with three or more children also has a very bad reputation because it is too “unfair.

Moreover, it is believed that only national and public universities will offer free tuition, and private universities will be “left behind. The public’s “distrust of politics” has been spurred by the back taxes issue.

The political party subsidy system was initiated in 1995 in response to the problem of corporate donations. This year, 15.9 billion yen in taxpayer funds was distributed to political parties, with the Liberal Democratic Party receiving the largest amount. However, money still flows from corporations to politicians in the form of political fund parties, and it is possible that some of this money has been privatized as slush funds.

The current situation is that corporations are “supporting” politicians in the form of money in order to get favors from the government. Although the parties have now been temporarily suspended, it may be time for a serious discussion on how political fundraising parties should be organized.

  • PHOTO. Yoshio Tsunoda/Afro

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