Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party raised 2.46 billion yen ($22.5 million) last year from industry groups and large companies, government data showed Friday, the seventh straight year the amount donated has increased.
Industry bodies’ contributions in 2018 to the funding body of the ruling party rose 2.7 percent from the previous year, highlighting the close ties between big business and Abe, who became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister last week.
The data came from an annual report on political funds released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association was the top donor with contributions of 80.40 million yen, followed by the Japan Iron Steel Federation with 80.00 million yen and the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association with 77.00 million yen.
Japan’s largest automaker Toyota Motor Corp. was the fourth highest contributor with 64.40 million yen. Toyota President Akio Toyoda currently serves as head of the top-donating auto manufacturers association.
A total of 23 major industry groups and large companies each contributed more than 20 million yen to the LDP in 2018, according to the report.
The LDP’s total revenue at its headquarters in 2018 was up 1.7 percent from the previous year to 26.29 billion yen, the highest among political parties.
Of that figure, 17.49 billion yen, or 66.5 percent, came from state subsidies, funds which are distributed to political parties in proportion to the number of parliamentary seats they hold. The subsidies are funded by taxpayers.
The opposition Japanese Communist Party ranked second in total revenue at 20.3 billion yen, followed by the LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito at 14.91 billion yen.
The Democratic Party for the People posted 6.57 billion yen in revenue, while the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan reported 3.65 billion yen, the report showed.
The total outlay by all political groups in 2018 declined 12.8 percent from the previous year to 94.73 billion yen, due in large part to the fact there were no nationwide elections held in the period. As a result, expenses related to elections plunged 91.5 percent.