LDP Agrees with Komeito on ID’ing Party Ticket Buyers Over ¥50,000; Komeito, Ishin to Support Political Funds Reform Draft

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi on Friday to discuss revisions to the Political Funds Control Law, in which the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has agreed to accept two proposals put forth by its coalition partner. The key proposal put forth by Komeito was to reduce the disclosure threshold for the names of purchasers of political fundraising party tickets to over ¥50,000; the LDP had initially proposed the disclosure of those who buy more than ¥100,000 worth of tickets per event. However, in light of Komeito's demands, the LDP agreed to lower the disclosure threshold and establish a third-party organization to check expenditures and enhance transparency on the use of funds for political activity expenses. Both the Komeito and Nippon Ishin parties are expected to support the LDP's draft, which reflects their requests. After the meeting, Komeito leader Yamaguchi praised the LDP's move, stating that "it reflects the bold decision that we have been seeking, and we take special notice of such a move." While there were conflicting opinions on the LDP's proposal within the party, LDP leader Kishida recognised the need for Komeito's cooperation to achieve the law revision, given their lack of a majority in the House of Councillors; he has therefore made the final decision. Kishida also met with Nobuyuki Baba, leader of Nippon Ishin, and agreed to reflect Ishin's demands. The three points agreed upon included setting an annual cap for funds for political activity expenses and disclosing related receipts and documents after ten years; abolishing preferential tax treatment for when lawmakers donate to political organizations that they represent; and implementing measures to mandate the disclosure of how a monthly allowance given to lawmakers for research, study, public relations and accommodations are used. The sum was previously known as document, correspondence, travel and accommodation expenses. Now that Ishin has accepted concessions from LDP, they intend to vote for the bill to revise the law. The LDP is aiming to achieve the law revision based on a broad consensus, not only from the ruling bloc, and therefore attaches importance to gaining support from opposition parties as well. The LDP formally presented its draft to the House of Representatives' special committee on political reform on Friday and the committee is expected to deliberate on the revised draft early next week. The LDP aims to have the legislation pass the lower house in the first half of next week
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