Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been drawn into a growing scandal over political donations, with reports surfacing that a local branch of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) received donations from companies that received subsidies from the government.
According to latest Japanese media reports, an LDP branch in the fourth district of Yamaguchi Prefecture, represented by Abe, received donations of 120,000 yen (US$1,000) in 2012 from a chemical product company based in Osaka, and 500,000 yen from Ube Industries in Tokyo.
The two firms were said to have subsequently received subsidies from the government.
While the donations are unlikely to pose any serious threat to Abe, they highlight the spread of a money-in-politics scandal that has already led to one of the PM’s cabinet colleagues submitting his resignation, Financial Times reported.
Agriculture minister Koya Nishikawa resigned last week to “avoid disruption” to the government.
It was the third resignation in six months from Abe’s government after two high-profile female ministers, Yuko Obuchi and Midori Matsushima, were forced to quit over political funding scandals last autumn, FT noted.
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