Japanese prime minister under pressure over campaign expenditure report

The premier also denied media reports that he was considering a Cabinet reshuffle in order to shore up support. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday his office in western Hiroshima prefecture had found errors in receipts attached to a campaign expenditure report, after a magazine reported possible violations of election funding laws.

The allegations are another blow to the Prime Minister, who has seen three Cabinet ministers quit within a month and whose public support is currently around 30 per cent in recent polls, a level that may make it difficult for him to carry out his agenda.

Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun published a report on Tuesday saying Mr Kishida’s office had submitted 94 receipts in its campaign expenditure report with no addressee or description, which could amount to breaches of election funding laws.

“I have instructed my office to make sure similar errors like this don’t happen in the future,” Mr Kishida told reporters.

The person in charge had filled in the items on the expenditure report but had overlooked adding the details into the attached receipts, he added.

The Premier also denied media reports that he was considering a Cabinet reshuffle in order to shore up support.

The Mainichi daily said the leader was considering one by the end of the year, while the Asahi newspaper said it could happen early in January.

“I’m not thinking about reshuffling the Cabinet at all,” Mr Kishida said.

“We must commit to resolving the various outstanding political issues towards the end of the year. In conclusion, I’m not thinking about it at all,” he added.

REUTERS

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