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LDP Mulls Urging Shionoya, Seko to Leave Party over Funds Scandal

LDP Mulls Urging Shionoya, Seko to Leave Party over Funds Scandal

   Tokyo, April 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is considering urging former LDP General Council Chairman Ryu Shionoya and Hiroshige Seko, former party secretary-general in the House of Councillors, to leave the party over a political funds scandal, several sources said Tuesday.
   According to the sources, the party's leadership team holds Shionoya, who previously headed the decision-making body of the LDP's biggest faction, and Seko, who led the faction's Upper House lawmakers, responsible for not abolishing the faction's kickback scheme of distributing unreported funds from the proceeds of fundraising events to faction members.
   In April 2022, the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who headed the faction at the time, decided to end the kickback practice.
   The practice, however, was maintained following talks held between Shionoya, Seko, former party policy chief Hakubun Shimomura and former industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura in August the same year, after Abe's death.
   Recommending LDP members to leave the party is the second heaviest punishment in the eight-tier penalty system under the party's disciplinary rules. The leadership team initially planned to impose on Shionoya and Seko the fourth heaviest punishment of not endorsing them in elections, but reached a conclusion that a stricter punishment is necessary following criticism from both within and outside the party.

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