Tokyo prosecutors are looking into the alleged secret funds of the largest faction of Japan’s main ruling party. The cash was said to come from selling fundraising tickets. Sources say prosecutors have questioned lawmakers’ aides on a voluntary basis on the issue.
The Liberal Democratic Party faction is alleged to have paid off-the-book kickbacks to member lawmakers who exceeded their quotas in selling the tickets.
The faction is suspected of failing to declare in its political funding reports both the excess income from the ticket sales and the payments made to lawmakers.
The faction, once led by late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, is believed to have paid the kickbacks to dozens of its members.
Informed sources say payments to multiple lawmakers exceeded 10 million yen each, or about 68,000 dollars, in the five years through 2022.
They believe the kickbacks could have reached tens of millions of yen, depending on the lawmaker.
The sources say prosecutors have questioned lawmakers’ aides, as well as faction officials, to uncover the flow of the funds.