Kishida Reveals Plan for New Organization to Revitalize LDP amid Looming Public Trust Crisis

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced his intention to establish a new organization to address the need for reform within the Liberal Democratic Party in the upcoming year. This move comes as the Kishida administration grapples with a decline in public support, exacerbated by a fundraising scandal involving the party’s Abe faction.

The scandal has drawn heightened scrutiny, with senior members of the faction, including former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, voluntarily questioned by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office for potential violations of the Political Funds Control Law.

During a board of councillors meeting for Keidanren (Japan Business Foundation) in Tokyo, Prime Minister Kishida expressed deep regret over the situation and offered a heartfelt apology. He emphasized the critical importance of regaining public trust for maintaining political stability and advancing policy initiatives, pledging a resolute response to the matter.

In a separate meeting on the same day, the prime minister conferred with seven prominent LDP members, including party Vice President Taro Aso and Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi, to formalize plans for the establishment of the new organization at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.

Kishida later addressed reporters to underscore the significance of taking decisive action, such as introducing the new organization, to rebuild trust within the party. Although the specifics of the organization’s focus were not disclosed, Kishida mentioned the intention to facilitate extensive discussions on the matter.

Meanwhile, Akira Nagatsuma, the secretary general of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, issued a statement insisting on accountability from the prime minister in light of the situation involving an unprecedented number of senior administration members facing questioning by prosecutors. Nagatsuma called for a public apology and a comprehensive explanation from the prime minister.

The proposed establishment of the new organization signals a proactive approach by Prime Minister Kishida to address the fundraising scandal and restore public trust in the Liberal Democratic Party. The move also reflects a recognition of the imperative to enhance transparency in political funding and overhaul factional dynamics. As the government grapples with the aftermath of the scandal, the upcoming discussions within the new organization will likely play a pivotal role in shaping the party’s future reforms and its efforts to regain public confidence.

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