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LDP Membership Suspension Eyed for Shimomura, Nishimura

LDP Membership Suspension Eyed for Shimomura, Nishimura

   Tokyo, April 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is considering the idea of suspending party heavyweights Hakubun Shimomura and Yasutoshi Nishimura from LDP membership as a punishment over a high-profile slush funds scandal involving factions of the party, it was learned Tuesday.
   Shimomura, former policy head of the LDP, and Nishimura, former industry minister, are key member of the faction previously led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
   The LDP is planning to issue recommendations for leaving the party to Ryu Shionoya, former chief of the LDP's General Council, and Hiroshige Seko, former secretary-general for LDP lawmakers in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.
   The party is slated to hold a meeting of its ethics committee Thursday, aiming to decide punishments for 39 people over the political funds scandal, including members of the faction headed by former LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, party sources said.
   On Tuesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also LDP president, held talks with LDP Vice President Taro Aso, LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi and General Council head Hiroshi Moriyama. Kishida separately met with LDP policy head Kisaburo Tokai and Yuko Obuchi, the party's election strategy chief.

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