Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Brief Look at the Seiwa-kai’s Books

The FY2007 political financing report from the Seiwa-kai,, currently the largest LDP faction, which has not totally coincidentally produced four successive Prime Ministers—Mori, Koizumi, Abe and Fukuda—between 2000-2008 and has also stood behind incumbent Taro Aso’s “successful” bid, can be found here.

As with Prime Minister Aso’s Ikou-kai, some Seiwa-kai members are more equal than others. Rank-and-file Diet members paid 600,000 in dues, but senior members gave up 1,200,000 and ex-Diet members still in play got a discount rate of 350,000*. Mori’s Seifu-kai contributed 20,000,000—as did newly anointed faction head Nobutaka Machimura’s Shinyu-kai. Hidenao Nakagawa (now persona non grata) coughed up 10,000,000. arank-and-file Diet member received 2,000,000 in return. Now, this is only half of the 4,000,000 that Aso’s faction members received in the same year. But Upper House Seiwa-kai members who faced election that year received 5,000,000, while losers (and past losers who were still active) got as little extra at 7,000,000 or 10,000,000. Overall, the much larger Seiwa-kai appears to have taken a tailor-made approach in contrast to the Aso faction’s one-size-fits-all system, and was moreover able to help, indeed give an extra boost to, its less fortunate members. Size matters, it seems. But how different is that from any other business?

There are some variations, but that’s the general idea.

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