In response to the controversy surrounding the political fundraising party of the Abe faction of the Liberal Democratic Party, the opposition parties held Prime Minister Kishida accountable as the party president at the plenary session of the House of Councillors.
Prime Minister Kishida said he would "take appropriate measures at the appropriate time" regarding the appointments he is considering to replace senior members of the Abe administration.
At the plenary session of the House of Councillors, a report on the summary of the financial results for the fourth fiscal year of Reiwa last fiscal year and questions were held with Prime Minister Kishida and all Cabinet ministers in attendance.
Mr. Tokunaga Risumi: "How do you take responsibility as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party?"
Eri Tokunaga of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) questioned the issue of political funding for the LDP faction, saying, "Suspicions have also surfaced among key ministers and party officials of the Abe faction, and the public's distrust of politicians is at an all-time high, so how will the LDP president take responsibility for the problem?"
In response, Prime Minister Kishida said, "We will take necessary measures from the perspective of restoring public trust while understanding the causes and challenges of the problem. In addition to the necessary measures as a party, the government will continue to do its utmost to address the tasks given to us, with an even greater sense of urgency."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, "Facts have been confirmed by each political organization, and according to media reports, criminal charges have been filed and related investigations are being conducted.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura said, "As a member of the Seiwa Policy Study Group, I feel a sense of responsibility and would like to apologize for the political distrust. We want to respond appropriately and fulfill our accountability at some point."
Komeito Yokoyama: "It is necessary to carry out all kinds of political reforms"
Shinichi Yokoyama of the New Komeito Party also commented on the issue of political funding by LDP factions, saying, "We must make every effort to prevent recurrence and restore trust, and we need to resolutely carry out all kinds of political reforms, such as reviewing the Political Funds Control Act and limiting the use of 'research and publicity expenses.'"
In response, Prime Minister Kishida stated, "As a party, we will respond with a strong sense of urgency, and although this is an issue related to the way in which parliamentary activities should be conducted, and it is necessary for each party and parliamentary faction to discuss it, the LDP will also make efforts to contribute to the discussion."
Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida was asked whether his political fundraising party violated the ministerial code, which stipulates that he should refrain from holding large-scale parties, and said, "It is for each minister to make an appropriate judgment based on the purpose of the norm. It does not violate the norm," he said, reiterating his recognition that the point was not correct.
In addition, Prime Minister Kishida was asked about the need for a total ban on corporate and group contributions, including the purchase of party tickets, and said, "I believe that income related to political funding parties is different in nature from donations, but I believe that it should be fully discussed by each party and parliamentary group from the perspective of how to bear the costs of democracy."