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Diet must plug loopholes in flawed political funds law

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The Political Funds Control Law is riddled with so many loopholes that it is often derided as “zaru ho” (law like a perforated basket).

Unless these flaws are corrected, the law cannot serve its purpose, which is to secure fair and above-board political fund-raising.

The Diet needs to take steps to plug these damaging legal holes to inject greater transparency into the flow of money into politics, including stronger regulations on political fund-raising parties, which are providing increasingly more of the cash raised by politicians.

The internal affairs ministry has published financial statements for 2018 submitted by political organizations, which show political parties and fund management organizations raised a total of 108.4 billion yen ($998.29 million), up 2.5 percent from 2017.

While political contributions decreased slightly, income from fund-raising parties grew 15 percent.

It is easy to imagine the reason for the spike in the amount of money raised by such parties.

The law requires politicians to disclose in their financial reports the names of individuals and corporations that donate more........

© The Asahi Shimbun