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POLITICS > Elections

DP gives political funds to Party of Hope, Constitutional Democratic Party candidates

In light of the Democratic Party (DP) effectively splitting into those joining the Party of Hope and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), there is great interest in what will happen to the DP’s political funds. The DP has already provided campaign funds to candidates running under the Party of Hope and the CDPJ. The ruling parties are critical of its diverting government subsidies for the party to other parties.


DP President Seiji Maehara told reporters at the party headquarters on Oct. 3 that the previous DP official candidates “have been provided with adequate campaign funds,” indicating that funds had already been given to candidates running under the Party of Hope, the CDPJ, or as independents.


Based on the number of DP Diet members as of Jan. 1, this party has been given some 8.7 billion yen in subsidies to be paid out in four installments this year. According to the DP budget for 2017, the party still has a balance of around 15 billion yen.


On the other hand, being new parties, the Party of Hope and the CDPJ will not be given any subsidies before the House of Representatives election. They are, therefore, having financial difficulties.


An incumbent DP Diet member who is joining the Party of Hope told Yomiuri Shimbun that he received 20 million yen from the DP after the Lower House was dissolved. One condition for the Party of Hope’s acceptance of DP members is a financial contribution. This lawmaker revealed that he would still have “sufficient funds” for the campaign even after subtracting his contribution to the Party of Hope.


It is believed that even if the same amount has been given to all incumbent Lower House members, the DP will still have a substantial amount of funds left. Maehara did not clarify how this money will be used on Oct. 3. He said: “We still have a substantial amount of money left. I will discuss this with my DP colleagues after Oct. 22.”


Since the DP’s funds come from government subsidies and contributions from its supporters, a senior Liberal Democratic Party official voiced this criticism: “Diverting the DP’s funds to the Party of Hope and the CDPJ is a breach of trust because the DP has not officially split into two parties.” (Slightly abridged)

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