He is the worst offender…! The name of the “bigwig councilor” who is the source of outrage within the LDP Seiwa-kai over the LDP slush fund issue. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

He is the worst offender…! The name of the “bigwig councilor” who is the source of outrage within the LDP Seiwa-kai over the LDP slush fund issue.

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‘This is usually the busiest time of year for us to prepare for par ticket sales. With that gone, I’ve lost an amazing amount of work. …… Other Seiwa-kai secretaries say they are in a similar situation.”

Mr. A, the secretary of a member of the dissolved Seiwa-kai, spoke out about the current situation.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who attended the political ethics committee meeting held in the House of Representatives, had this look on his face

The aftermath of the slush fund issue that has hit the political world can be heard leaking from Nagata-cho. One would think that not only legislators but also secretaries and staff working in their offices would be busy dealing with the aftermath and explaining the situation in their hometowns, but surprisingly, the reality is that many office staff are having a lot of free time on their hands.

Mr. B, a veteran secretary who belonged to the Seiwa-kai, said, “To tell the truth, I don’t have time to do anything.

To put it bluntly, they are bored. The local supporters were rather sympathetic, and there wasn’t much to do in the way of cleanup. The question is about future business. There was a meeting of the secretaries’ association, but we haven’t yet decided what will happen to the association.”

The background to this may be the fact that the political ethics panel currently in session continues to give answers that do not clearly assign responsibility to the parties involved. However, there are pros and cons to the individual responses. Mr. C, another veteran secretary of the Seiwa-kai, revealed that “even among the five members” of the faction, “there were differences. He is furious with the dons in the upper house, saying, “They should be subjected to the strongest criticism.

Among his family members, former Secretary General of the House of Councillors Hiroshige Seko (61) has drawn the most criticism. The reason is that he has been saying and acting as if he is placing the responsibility on his secretary, saying that he had ‘left it all up to his secretary.

He also says, “I was unable to ascertain the fact that the secretary had managed the tax refunds off the books of the political fund balance report without reporting it to me,” but as anyone who has worked as a secretary knows, such decisions cannot be made at the sole discretion of a secretary. He also told the Political Ethics Committee of the upper house of the Diet, “I was not involved in the refunds and was not reported or consulted,” but everyone snickered at him. His excuses are appalling.

Seko is also in a tight spot over his secretary’s attendance at “inappropriate meetings.

This month, it was revealed that he invited several female dancers to a social gathering held by the LDP Youth Bureau and gave them tips by hand. It was also revealed that it was Seko’s former secretary who organized the event, and there are signs that criticism of Seko is likely to intensify. Next in line for criticism is former Minister of Education Hirofumi Shimomura (69).

He was in contact with all kinds of media, from newspapers to TV stations and magazines, and provided them with information. In large part, he was trying to control the media by speaking out himself. What was particularly egregious was the fact that he was leaking information that only the executives could know, even information related to the investigation, and other executives were even upset that Shimomura was trying to evade responsibility alone.

People who have risen to power using the power of their faction will sell out their faction when danger comes down the road. I can understand why former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori had stamped his hand on Shimomura, saying, “Shimomura is the only one who is not allowed. There really is no honor or humanity in this.”

Shimomura is believed to have had numerous contacts with the media.

On the other hand, former METI Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura (61) is seen as having improved his reputation. Nishimura was the first of the “Abe faction’s five members” to appear before the House of Representatives’ Political Ethics Examination Committee on January 1. In the meeting, he denied any involvement in the accounting of the Seiwa-kai, saying that he was not involved in the accounting of the Seiwa-kai.

One of the veteran secretaries who has worked with Mr. Nishimura for so long that he could be said to have been a “nikoichi” (a close friend), collapsed in the bathroom of the assembly hall due to overwork at the end of last year, and is still in the hospital. He is still in the hospital. He must have been suffering from heartache in the midst of the slush fund issue. Nishimura has taken this opportunity to personally visit his hometown to explain the situation. Perhaps he has come to his senses and decided that he has no choice but to stand in the spotlight, and he has attended the Diet proceedings and has fulfilled his accountability to some extent.

At the very least, he is somewhat better than the other executives who were on the run. In Nishimura’s case, there are whispers in his hometown that Fusaho Izumi, 60, the former mayor of Akashi City, may run in his constituency, and he has a strong sense of crisis.

On January 13, it was reported in some media that a proposal had surfaced to allocate a sum of money equivalent to the amount of the slush fund to support the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake. The total amount of the back taxes amounts to approximately 579.49 million yen over the five years until 2022. A veteran secretary of the Seiwakai also sighingly commented on this.

At a small gathering of the Seiwa-kai at the end of February, a startling suggestion was made by some council members and secretaries that the faction’s remaining funds should be donated to the areas hit by the Noto Peninsula earthquake and to medical institutions,” he said with a sigh. There is a strong possibility that the current donation fiasco also originated with the Seiwa-kai.

One young councilor lamented, “They have no understanding of public sentiment to come up with such an idea after such an uproar. Above all, I feel sorry for the supporters. The people in the disaster-affected areas probably don’t want to support reconstruction with money earned from slush funds. Even after the series of scandals involving the back taxes, the people of the Seiwa-kai still feel as if they were involved in an accident and show no signs of remorse.

The LDP, which has come under intense scrutiny for a string of scandals, continues to respond in a manner that offends public sentiment. Behind this lies the fundamental problem of a lack of awareness of the people involved.

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