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Japan

In law
58
In practice
52

Japan has direct public funding for both parties and candidates. This support is distributed in accordance with the legally defined allocation mechanism, but in practice, information on those disbursements is not always available in a timely fashion. Free access to advertising is available for parties contesting seats in the lower house of parliament, and for candidates in the upper house. With the exception of resources available to sitting members of parliament (to which challenging candidates do not have access), non-financial state assets are not deployed during campaigns. Legislation places limits on the amounts individuals, corporations, and foreign sources can contribute for campaign purposes. Party expenditures are not limited, but candidate spending may not exceed a set limit. In practice, certain candidates appear to have attempted to circumvent limits on spending during the most recent elections. In terms of reporting requirements, parties are required to submit financial reports annually, while candidates do so only within campaigns. In practice, the reports submitted do not include many contributions. All submitted reports are published online, but only in pdf format, limiting the extent to which they are easily accessible. Third party actors, despite being present in Japan, are not regulated, either in law or in practice. Several oversight bodies are charged with monitoring and enforcing political finance. In practice, these authorities are afflicted by a lack of merit-based appointees, and concerns about their independence. Investigations are rare, and oversight agencies cannot unilaterally impose sanctions.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        As for candidates, there is reimbursement scheme for electoral campaigns. Candidates can use the reimbursement scheme but parties cannot. In the scheme, candidates pay money for their campaign and the expense is reimbursed later. According to the Public Offices Election Act, each candidate can get the reimbursement for printing posters (Article 143(5.14), 263(6.3)), his/her own-making campaign handbills and postcards (Article 142(10), 263(6)), and the costs of his/her campaign car (Article 141(7), 263(5.4)) and signboards in front of his/her campaign office and the place of speech meetings (Article 163(6)). The Act says that the reimbursement scheme is not given to the candidates who cannot earn certain votes (Article 92-94, 141(7), 142(10), 143(14), 163(6)).

        Apart from the reimbursement scheme, there are other financial supports for electoral campaign. The Act says that candidates are given to have (1) a space on official campaign bulletins published by government (Article 167) and to have (2) air times on TV and radio (Article 150) without payment. Although the number of times is limited, candidates can put (3) their advertisements on commercial newspapers without fee (Article 149). In addition, candidates can use (4) designated spaces on official campaign signboards for showing their posters (except open-list proportional representation candidates in Upper House election) (Article 144.2, 263(7)), ask (5) postal service to send postcards (Article 142, 263(6)), borrow (6) community facilities like city halls for their speech meetings (Article 161), and ride on (7) designated transportation during their campaigns (Article 176, 263(12)) for free of charge. Instead of candidates, governments pay the costs of (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (7).

        As for parties, they are given to have (1), (2) and (3). Instead of parties, governments pay the costs of (1), (2) and (3).

        According to the Political Party Subsidies Act, there are regular subsidies for the political parties outside election campaigns. These public subsidies can be allocated to their candidates and the candidates use these funds for their campaign. In short, these public subsidies can be used for electoral campaign. Additionally, parties can use the funds for their own political activities during electoral campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Articles 92-94, 141-144, 149-151, 161, 163, 167, 176, 263.; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Party Subsidies Act; Article 1, 7-11; 1994; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/H06/H06HO005.html

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        2
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        In national Diet elections, all candidates and parties have to pay deposits to run, and the deposits are refunded if the candidates or parties earn sufficient votes. The reimbursement scheme is only available for the candidates or parties whose deposits are refunded (Article 141-143).

        In constituency based election, candidates who earns more than 1/10 (Lower House) or 1/8 (Upper House) of all valid ballots can give refunds of the deposits (Article 92-93). In Upper House proportional representation election, the candidates whose rank in the parties' list is not more than the number of seats which the parties win are refunded (Article 92-94) and reimbursed (Article 141-143) (In Lower House closed-list proportional representation election, only parties can be allowed to campaign and no proportional representation candidates can campaign).

        As for parties, they can also use the official campaign advertisement tools (official campaign bulletins and air time) and put their advertisements on commercial newspapers without fee. In the case of the advertisements on commercial newspapers, very small parties (their share of votes is less than 2% in Lower House or 1% in Upper House) have to pay additional fee after election day (Article 149(6)).

        The Political Party Subsidies Act states the criteria for eligibility and the formula used to calculate allocation amounts for regular subsidies (Article 1-3, 5, 7, 8). As noted in indicator 1, these subsidies can be used for electoral campaign. This subsidy amount is determined by multiplying the population of Japan as of the most recent census by 250 yens (US$2.12) (Article 7). The government allocates the amount in proportional representation the number of seats each political party holds in the Diet as of 1 January and how each party polled in the latest elections for both the Lower and Upper Houses (Article 8, 9). This amount is currently equal to roughly 30 billion yens (US$255 million).

        Article 2 of the Political Parties Subsidies Act lists the following eligibility criteria for actors who receive direct public funding: "Political organizations that have at least 5 members either in the House of Representatives or the House of Councillors; Political organizations that have at least 1 member either in the House of Representatives or the House of Councillors and obtained at least 2% of the votes in one of the following elections: (a) House of Representatives...(b) House of Councillors." Article 3 specifies that parties must also be chartered in order to receive public money. Parties who do not meet these requirements will not be eligible to receive any public funding.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 92-94, 141-143, 149; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Party Subsidies Act; Article 1-3, 5, 7, 8; 1994; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/H06/H06HO005.html

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        3
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        The amount of the reimbursement differs from each other because it depends on what kind of activities candidates do and pay for in electoral campaign. However, most active candidates frequently try to expand their activities until the limit under the Public Offices Election Act. So, most active candidates get the reimbursement at the maximum which the Act states, regardless of which party the candidates belong to. In the case of the last Upper House election on July 21, 2013, for example, the amount of the reimbursement which Liberal Democratic Party's proportional representation candidates got was around 5.5 million yens (US$46,637) at a maximum, according to campaign-finance report. This amount was almost same as other opposition parties' candidates such as Democratic Party of Japan's or Your Party's (5.4 million yens (US$45,790). The date in which the reimbursements were provided is between October to December, 2013.

        As for regular subsidies for political parties, the allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism and eligibility criteria are applied consistently. Mr. Seiji Yoshida, a subsection chief at political funds division, local governance bureau in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communication confirmed that this was followed in 2013 when there was an election of House of Councillors. Mr. Utsuki, Vice Director at political funds division, local governance bureau in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communication said that allocations of subsidy to political parties were defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism and eligibility criteria were applied consistently in 2012 when there was a general election. He said that "10,154 million yens (US$861,000) were allocated to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from the central government in 2012 fiscal year".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Campaign-finance reports on the election of the House of the Councillors in 2013; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000279007.pdf

        2. Interview with Mr. Seiji Yoshida, a Sectional Chief at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication on November 19, 2014.

        3. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Recorded interview with Mr. Utsuki, Vice Director at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau on September 27, 2013.

        4. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, former professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014.

        5. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 13, 2015.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        4
        Score
        25
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        In the case of the last Upper House election on July 21, 2013, the disbursement was made between October to November, 2013. The disbursement information about proportional representation election was publicly available after March 25, 2014. The information is available on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication at no cost.

        As for regular subsidies for parties, complete information on the disbursements is published prior to disbursement, and the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost. It is published as a Press Release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication soon after it is calculated when the annual national budget for the year is approved in the Diet. Mr. Seiji Yoshida, a Subsectional Chief at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications said that "the amount of the public funds is calculated on the basis of the information on January 1. The funds are disbursed to parties every three months. The first disbursement of the fiscal 2013 was on May 24, 2013." In this time, the information about the disbursement was available on the website of the Ministry on the same day of the disbersement.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources
        1. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 13, 2015.

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Campaign-finance reports on the elecion of the House of the Councillors in 2013; http://www.soumu.go.jp/menunews/s-news/831012.html

        3. Interview with Mr. Seiji Yoshida, a Subsectional Chief at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications on November 19, 2014.

        4. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, List of allocation to political parties, Press Release on May 16, 2013; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000222090.pdf

        5. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, List of allocation to political parties, Press Release on April 6, 2012; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000153358.pdf

        6. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Amount of disbursement to political parties, Press Release on May 24, 2013; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000225776.pdf

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        The Public Offices Election Act prohibits public servants to participate in election campaign in favor of or against political parties and individuals (Article 135, 136).

        The Act bans the use of state-owned or local-government-owned buildings and facilities (including cars) for election campaign (Article 166), however, there is exception. Candidates can borrow community facilities like city halls and school facilities for their speech meetings. The facilities which candidates can borrow are designated by local governments and accessible to all candidates equally (Article 161).

        National Public Service Act prohibits that officials engage in any political acts other than to exercise their right to vote (Article 102). Local Public Service Act also has a similar regulation (Article 36).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 135, 136, 161,166; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. National Public Service Act; Article 102; 1947; http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=2216&vm=04&re=01&new=1

        3. Local Public Service Act; Article 36.; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO261.html

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        75
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        There is no evidence of authorities illegally using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates.

        But every Diet member is paid 1 million yens (US$8,480) monthly as transportation, letters and communication fees apart from monthly salary. Yoichi Yamamoto, who was a newspaper reporter with Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Daily Nikkei) and now works as a staff of the Japan Restoration Party says that "The government does not require the report nor proof, so that the Diet members can use it for their election campaign."

        Yumi Sato, former secretary of the Diet member and who ran for national election herself says that "Most of the Diet members use this money for election campaign". This money is legally, transparently and equitably allocated to Diet members. But it is favorable to the present Diet members and unfavorable to the new candidate. Professor Minoru Ouchi, former Professor at Ritsumeikan University agrees.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources
        1. Website of Mr. Yoichi Yamamoto; http://ameblo.jp/yzyoichi/entry-11591887154.html. He was a newspaper reporter with Nihon Keizai Shimbun Newspaper and now is a staff of the political party which is one of the major opposition parties.

        2. Interview Professor Minoru Ouchi, former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        3. Interview with Mr. Seiji Yoshida, a Subsectional Chief at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on November 19, 2014.

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        7
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In Lower House elections, the Public Offices Election Act allows all parties to advertise free of charge in radio and television (Article 150). According to the Election Broadcast rules, a length of air time is 9 minutes. In proportional representation election, the number of broadcasts depends on how many proportional representation candidates the parties listed up on their proportional representation list. If the number of the candidates is 9 or less, 3 times. If the number is 10 to 18, 6 times. If the number is 19 to 27, 9 times. If the number is 28 or more, 12 times (Article 2-3). The number of broadcasting times also depends on how many candidates the parties field. In constituency based election, if the number is 2 or less, then the parties have 4 times. If the number is 3 to 5, 7 times. If the number is 6 to 8, 12 times. If the number is 9 to 11, 18 times. If the number is 12 or more, 24 times (Article 2-3). The constituency based candidates who belong to political parties usually appear on the parties' advertisements because they are invited to the parties' air time for constituency based election by the parties. On the contrary, all independent constituency based candidates have no chance to have air time because the Act allocates air time not to candidates but to parties, and thus independent candidates have no access.

        In Upper House elections, the Act says that all candidates can appear on the advertisements for constituency based election and all parties can advertise for proportional representation election (Article 150). The Election Broadcast rules say that each constituency based candidate (include independent candidate) can have 8 times of air time and the length is 5.5 minutes. The rules also say that each party has 17 minutes air time for proportional representation election. The number of broadcasting times depends on how many candidates the parties listed up in their proportional representation lists. When the number of candidates is 8 or less, the parties have 2 TV and 1 radio air time. If the number is 9 to 16, 4 TV and 2 radio. If the number is 17 to 24, 6 TV and 3 radio. If the number is 25 or more, 8 TV and 4 radio (Article 2-3).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 150; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Election Broadcast rules; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000120123.pdf

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Mr. Keiichi Nakashima, an officer at the election administration section in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications says that "free access to air time is provided in a equitable way to political parties and the Upper House constituency based candidates and the broadcasting schedule is open to the public."

        The time schedule of the electoral broadcasting is announced by the central or local government election office via press release and internet and reported by the newspapers and magazines.

        Ms. Akiko Hoshino says that electric broadcasting is equally allocated to the candidates who belong to the political parties. They decide the broadcasting schedule with the broadcasting companies. They follow the rules under the Public Offices Election Act. "The practical rule book of electoral broadcasting" is available at 5,400 yens (US$46).

        However, as Mr. Makoto Iwasaki, Ombusman at Nobeoka City points out, the access to air time is not equitable. Lawyers group has sued that the access is allocated only to the political parties (to present its affiliate candidates), not to each candidate (who are affiliated with the party). And majority of the judges in the Supreme Court has admitted this is not equal, but that this equality is not big as to be against the Constitution.

        In the Upper House constituency based election, all candidates including independent candidates can have the same amount of the access. As for the Lower House constituency based election, independent candidates are excluded from the access. In the Lower House constituency based election, the access is only allocated to the parties, as noted in Indicator 7. This restriction is based on law and all independent candidates in Lower House constituency based election do not have the access.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Mr. Keiichi Nakashima, an officer at Election Administration Section in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on November 19, 2014.

        2. Interview with Ms. Akiko Hoshino, an officer at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Election Administration Commission on November 19, 2014.

        3. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Broadcasting schedule of the proportional representation in the 2013 Upper House election; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000237607.pdf

        4. Website of Makoto Iwasaki; http://min.mi-n.net/2014/02/blog-post_11.html

        5. Public Offices Election Act; Article 150; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        While there is a limitation about the total amount of contributions, there is no restriction of cash contributions except for parties' fund-management organizations. Under the Political Funds Control Act, candidates and parties can establish fund-management organizations (Article 6.2, 19). Contributions to parties' fund-management organizations must be made via banking system, if the amount of the contribution is over 1,000 yens (US$8.50) (Article 22(6.2.6)). However, people can send contributions to parties by cash directly, without passing through the parties' fund-management organizations.

        Contributions to individual politicians who are going to run for elections are not allowed (Article 21.2). However, such politicians can establish fund-management organizations (Article 19) and the organizations can receive contributions. In addition, there is an exceptional way for individual candidates to receive contributions directly. People cannot give contributions to individual candidates' ordinary political activities, however, they can send contributions to candidates' electoral campaign (Article 21.2). These organizations can accept cash contributions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 6.2, 19, 21, 22; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        10
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        MODERATE
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        Under the Political Funds Control Act, contributions to parties and candidates (including their fund-management organizations) must be not anonymous (Article 22.6). The exception is that parties and parties' fund-management organizations can receive an anonymous contribution if they try to collect money during their street speeches or speech meetings and if the amount of contribution is 1,000 yens (US$8.50) or less (Article 22.6.2).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 22; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        11
        Score
        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Public Offices Election Act defines "income" as not only money but also other financial benefits including gift flowers, condolence money or congratulatory gift (Article 179). Person in charge of accounts of electoral campaign must report all income and expense within 15 days after the election day (Article 189). The Act is applied for candidates.

        Political Funds Control Act also defines "income" as not only money but also other financial benefits (Article 4). Person in charge of accounts of political organizations including political parties must report all income and expense within 3 months after the end of the year (31st December) (Article 12). The Act is applied for all political organizations including parties, candidates and their fund-management organizations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        1.Public Offices Election Act; Articles 179, 189; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2.Political Funds Control Act; Article 4, 12.; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        According to the Public Offices Election Act, candidates' campaign office have to report all income concerning their campaigns (Article 185). The Article defines "income" as all collection of money and in-kind benefits. Therefore, all income includes contributions, candidates' pocket money, loans and other financial support.

        As for political funds for ordinary political activities, the Article 12 of the Political Funds Control Act clearly states that "all loans as of Dec 31 each year must be reported." This rule applies to both contributions to parties and candidates including their fund-management organizations.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree.

        Article 179 of the Public Offices Election Act defines income as (translated) "Income as defined in this Act is cash, goods and any other benefits to assets, including agreement or promises of benefits".

        There is no direct reference to "loans" in the Public Offices Election Act, however in Article 12-9 of the Political Funds Control Act under reporting procedures, it is stated (translated) "for loans, specify the lender or lending organization for each loan". In line with this statement it is understood that loans are included in the income.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Articles 185; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Funds Control Act; Article 12; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
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        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        All contributions from individuals are, in law, limited to a maximum amount. According to the article 21 of the Political Funds Control Act, an individual can contribute no more than 20 million yens (US$169,592) to a party in any given year. The Article 21 also states that an individual may contribute no more than a total of 10 million yens (US$84,796) to candidates (if he gives to multiple candidates, the total given may not exceed that limit) in any given year. By the Article 22, individuals can give no more than 1.5 million yens (US$12,720) to any single candidate in any given year.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Articles 21, 22, 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        14
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        According to the Article 21 of the Political Funds Control Act, corporations, labor unions, employee organizations, and other organizations shall not contribute to candidates and their fund-management organizations. In addition, there is a limit of total donations made by corporations, labor unions, etc. to political parties. The limit ranges from 7.5 to 100 million yens (US$63,600 to 847,960). The specific limit for a given corporation or labor union is determined by its amount of capital and the number of employees/members it has.

        In sum, corporate donations to individual candidates are prohibited, and corporate donations to parties are limited to a maximum amount.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 21; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        15
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        The Article 22.5 of the Political Funds Control Act prohibits political contributions from foreign sources to political parties and candidates.

        Japanese companies which are mainly consisted by foreigners or foreign companies are also prohibited political contributions, however, there is an exception. If such companies have been continuously listed on the stock exchange market for five years or more, they can be allowed to contribute political donations. The Article 22.5 is translated as "No person shall receive contributions in connection with political activities from any foreign national, foreign corporation or foreign organization. As an exception, the restriction does not apply to foreign origin organizations registered as a Japanese company and consecutively on the stock market for 5 years or more", and when making the donation the company must show such evidence in writing.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 22; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        16
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        YES
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        According to the Article 21 of the Political Funds Control Act, corporations, labor unions, employee organizations, and other organizations shall not contribute to a person other than political parties and their fund-management organizations. In addition, there is a limit of total donations made by corporations, labor unions, etc. to political parties. The limit ranges from 7.5 to 100 million yens (US$63,600 to 847,960). The specific limit for a given corporation or labor union is determined by its amount of capital and the number of employees/members it has.

        In sum, donations from third party actors to individual candidates are prohibited, and third party actors' donations to parties are limited to a maximum amount.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 21; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        17
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        MODERATE
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The spending of political parties during election campaigns is not limited by Japanese law.

        Individual candidates, however, may not spend more than a specified limit. According to the Article 194 of the Public Offices Election Act, candidates for the House of Representatives may not spend more than 15 yens (US$0.13) times the number of registered voters in his district plus 19.1 million yens (US$161,960). Candidates for the House of Councillors may spend up to 52 million yens (US$440,940) in an election.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 194; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html
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        18
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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        National laws basically apply to sub-national units; the Public Offices Election Act and the Political Fund Control Act apply to both national and local level. But there are some gaps between the national and local level. The 2007 amended Political Fund Control Act requires the political organizations concerning the incumbent Diet members to collect and save all receipts regardless of the amount. The Act also requires that they report details on all expenditures over 10,000 yens (US$85) (except for the wages). They must reveal the receipts even if under 10,000 yens (US$85) if asked under certain procedures by the citizens (Article 12, 19).

        Professor Yoichi Ishii noted that, "Generally the Diet members have three political organizations: political fund-management organization; chapter of their political party in respective constituency; and political support group. These organizations report financial information to the government with audit certificate signed by lawyer, qualified accountant or tax accountant. The problem is that often the auditing goes only so as to check, for instance, whether the entries are made in line with the receipts. It falls short of checking the appropriateness of the spending."

        The Political Party Subsidies Act mainly focuses on national Diet. Although political parties can distribute the subsidies to local chapters, the calculation mechanism which allocates the subsidies to each party is only based on how many Diet members belong to the party and how many per cent of votes the party earned in recent national Diet elections. The mechanism is never affected by local level elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, News on political finance; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/index.html

        2. Interview with Professor Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 17, 2014

        3. Political Fund Control Act; Article 12, 19; 1947; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        4. Interview with Mr. Yoichi Ishii, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014.

        5. Political Party Subsidies Act; Article 1, 7-11; 1994; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/H06/H06HO05.html

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Mr. Nomura, an officer at Election Administration Section in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications stated that the average income of the candidates for the 2010 Upper House proportional representation election was 9.6 million yens (US$81,404). 78 per cent of the income was from the donations from the political parties, other political organizations or individual electorates. The rest was from the candidates' own money and loans. So, 22 per cent of the income comes from candidates' self-finance.

        For example, the total amount of the income of 18 winning LDP's candidates for the 2013 Upper House proportional representation election was 291 million yens (US$2,467,565). 174 million yens (US$1,475,452) (60%) came from party or party's chapters. Donations from individual electorates were only 4.9 million yens (US$41,550) (2%). Although companies cannot send money to candidates, company's members can build a political organization and such organizations can send money to candidates. 15 million yens (US$15,000) (5%) came from political organizations whose names included companies' names or industry organizations' names. 48 million yens (US$127,194) (17%) was paid by candidates' supporters' groups. Candidates' pocket money and loans were 49 million yens (US$415,500) (17%).

        The average expenditure was 10 million yens (US$84,796). The average amount of 4.6 million yens (US$39,006) per person was reimbursed to the candidates who got certain votes under the Public Offices Election Act. He calculated the average from the financial reports of the 187 candidates for proportional representation election. The Liberal Democratic Party paid 2.0 billion yens (US$16.9 million) for the deposits of the 337 candidates in the last Upper House election on July 21, 2013. The Liberal Democratic Party paid this out of the government subsidy.

        There are some other ways to raise campaign fund. Political parties and candidates can hold political fund-raising parties. In addition, some political parties (most typical example is the Japan Communist Party) sell their newspapers to generate campaign funds. According to Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, the amount of income of the all local parties' chapters in Wakayama prefecture in 2013 fiscal year were 1.1 billion yens (US$9.3 million). 69 million yens (US$6,900) (6%) out of the all income were the income from the chapters' business income including fund-raising parties and parties' newspapers.

        When assessing the total political party income statement, it is analyzed that individual candidate donations are not a main part of the income.

        In the fiscal year 2013, the total income of the political parties and other political organizations was 231.5 billion yen (USD2 billion), broken down into Contributions at 63.9 billion yen (USD541 million) (27.6%) which is the highest, followed by Operational Income at 53.5 billion yen (USD 453 million) (23.1%), Other Income at 44.1 billion yen (USD 374 million)(19%), Political Parties’ headquarters subsidy at 42.6 billion yen (USD 361 million)(18%), and others (12.3%).

        Contributions consist of donations from individuals (13.1%), corporate and other organizations (3.8%) and political organizations (10.7%). Within operational income, 7.6% or 1.76 billion yen (US$14.9 million) is from political fundraising campaign parties.

        When looking at individual political parties, for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the ruling party, 28.5% of its entire income comes from contributions, sources for the donations being individuals (8.4%), corporate and other organizations (10.5%) and political organizations (9.6%). In other income, 46.9% are political subsidies (27.9% being party subsidies plus 19% as headquarter party subsidies).

        In the Democratic Party, an opposition party, 72.9% of the income comes are political subsidies (41% as party subsidies and 31.9% as headquarter party subsidies), while donations from individuals and corporations are 12.6% (individual 6.2% and corporations 3.3%, political organizations (3.1%)).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014.

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications, Press release on announcement by the Mr. Nomura, an officer at Election Administration Section recorded on January 14, 2011; http://www.soumu.go.jp/menunews/s-news/01gyosei1501000009.html

        3. Website of Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, Article on political finance, http://senkyo.mainichi.jp/news/20131202k0000m010119000c.html

        4. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper; http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASGCW0GJ1GCVPXLB016.html

        5. Press release documents published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on the fiscal Year 2013 Income Statement (released January 16, 2015), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000331965.pdf

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        Although it is difficult to find the cases that politicians give electorates money in order to buy votes during election campaign, some politicians try to patronage their campaign staffs and their supporters. In law, campaign staffs have to be volunteers but some candidates pay rewards for campaign staffs in secret. Or, some politicians give some benefits to their supporters in their ordinary political activities outside election campaign. In addition, the relationship between politicians and companies also attracts public attention. The following examples are emblematic of common violations.

        1. Tokuda case: Takeshi Tokuda's sister Stern Tokuda pleaded guilty in breaking the election law (10 other persons, mostly family, but also including ex-Governor of Tokyo Inose). She is suspected of having provided benefits to Tokushukai hospital group employees (founded by the father Torao Tokuda) as a reward to recruit them for Takeshi Tokuda's (ex-member of the Lower House resigned due to the scandal) campaign.

        2. Watanabe case: Head of the Your Party Yoshimi Watanabe borrowed money (around 800 million yens (US$8 million), series of loans) from the chair of DHC Corp. He utilized them for party purposes but declared them as private assets. This use of non-declared assets is illegal in Japanese law.

        3. Ms.Yuko Obuchi, who was appointed to Minister for Trade and Industry in Cabinet reshuffle in September 2014, came under fire for the gap between revenue and expenses at her two political organizations when they organized theater event for her supporters in her constituency in 2010 and 2011. The two bodies' funds reports show that they collected a total of 7.4 million yens (US$62,760) in participation fees from the supporters, who were bused from Gunma to Meijiza theater in Tokyo, but paid 33.8 million yens (US$286,663) to the theater for the events. If the 26.4 million yens (US$223,902) gap means that Obuchi's organizations shouldered part of the events' expenses, the act would constitute a provision of benefits to voters, which is banned under the Public Offices Election Act.

        4. Ms. Midori Matsushima, who was appointed to the Minister for Justice in Cabinet reshuffle in September 2014, has distributed paper fans, with her name, caricature and message printed, among voters in her constituency in Tokyo infringed on any law. Her office has produced 22,000 fans since 2012 and distributed them to residents during at events such as local festivals. Opposition Democratic Party of Japan Diet members filed a criminal accusation with prosecutors against justice minister, alleging that her act violated the election law, which bans candidates from donating goods of a certain value to voters. Matsushima has argued that the fans shouldn't be construed as "goods with value". However, she was forced to resign on October 20, 2014.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources
        1. Website of Japan Times, Tokuda submits Diet resignation over election scandal; http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/24/national/politics-diplomacy/lawmaker-tokuda-to-quit-in-wake-of-12-election-campaign-cash-scandal/#.VBphEfl_tqU

        2. Website of XinHua News English, Japan's Your Party Chief embroiled in political funds scandal; http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-03/28/c_133221864.htm

        3. Interview with Mr. Yoichi Ishii, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014.

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    58
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        21
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Articles 11 and 12 of the Political Funds Control Act say that political parties and other political organizations must submit financial reports of their itemized contributions and expenditures no less than 50,000 yens (US$424) to the prefectural electoral commission or to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications yearly. This Act applies at all times, both during and outside campaigns. The list of itemized contributions includes contributer's name, address and occupation, date and the amount. The list of itemized expenditures contains name and address of person who receive payment, purpose, date and the amount. In addition, as for the national Diet members, the itemized expenditures over 10,000 yens (US$85) should be reported both during and outside electoral campaign periods. Furthermore, national Diet members have to disclose all itemized expenditures regardless of the amounts both during and outside campaign on request basis (Article 19).

        The Article 185 and 189 of the Public Offices Election Act states that individual candidates must submit reports on campaign finances to the prefectural election commission or to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications within 15 days after the voting day. All contributions and expenditures for election campaign have to be reported with name, address and occupation of the contributers/the persons who receive the payments, date, and the amount. The Act also says that if there are additional incomes and expenses regarding the electoral campaign after the reporting, he/she must submit the additional report within 7 days after each transaction. Candidates themselves are not required to submit any reports outside of the electoral campaign, however, political organizations including candidates' fund-management organizations are required to do so and candidate themselves cannot allowed to receive money contributions outside the campaign. Therefore, money contributions to candidates outside the campaign must be via political organizations including their fund-management organizations and be reported.

        The Public Offices Election Act does not require political parties to submit campaign finance reports, because parties are not allowed to campaign. Parties can place advertisements on TV and newspapers, those are regarded as ordinary political activities. As noted above, those are reported annually under the Political Funds Control Act.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 11, 12, 19; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

        2. Public Offices Election Act; Article 185, 189; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

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        22
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        As for candidates, the law requires the individual candidate to submit financial reports during the electoral campaign (Article 31 and 32 of the Public Offices Election Act states that the length of the campaign is 12 days in Lower House and 17 days in Upper House). The Article 189 of the Public Offices Election Act states that individual candidates must submit reports on campaign finances to the prefectural Electoral Administration Committees or to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications within 15 days after the voting day. The law also says that if there are additional income and expenses regarding the electoral campaign after the reporting, he/she must submit the additional report with 7 days after each transaction.

        As for parties, the Article 12 of the Political Funds Control Act says that political organizations must submit financial reports of their itemized contributions and expenditures over 50,000 yens (US$424) to the prefectural Electoral Administration Committees or to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications yearly. This law applies at all times, both during and outside campaigns. Therefore, contributions which parties receive and parties' expenditures during the electoral campaign must be reported yearly.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 189.; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Funds Control Act; Article 12.; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

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        23
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        According to the Political Funds Control Act, political organizations including parties, parties' fund-management organizations and candidates' fund-management organizations are required to submit financial reports outside of electoral periods. By the Article 12, they must do so yearly.

        Candidates themselves are not required to submit any reports outside of the electoral campaign, however, political organizations including candidates' fund-management organizations are required to do so and candidate themselves cannot allowed to receive money contributions outside the campaign. Therefore, money contributions to candidates outside the campaign must be via political organizations including their fund-management organizations and be reported.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 12; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html
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        50
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        As for election campaign, the financial reports should be submitted to the Prefectural Election Administration Committees or the Minstry of Internal Affairs and Communications on a monthly basis because the length of campaign period is less than a month (12 days in Lower House and 17 days in Upper House). If candidates failed to submit itemized information which the law requires, they were asked to comply. In the cases of the 2013 Upper House proportional representation election, all candidates followed the instruction by the Central Election Administration Council. As noted in previous indicators, political parties are not required to submit post election reports, as they are not officially allowed to campaign in support of particular candidates. That being the case, they do not submit such election reports, but only the required annual.

        As for ordinary political activities outside campaign, political organizations including political parties, parties' fund-management organizations and individual politicians' fund-management organizations are required to submit financial reports, but they are on a yearly basis. Some politicians voluntary disclose such information on their websites but their reports are usually yearly basis. For example, Mr. Taro Kohno (the Liberal Democratic Party), who got the most votes in the Lower House election on December 16, 2012, disclose the yearly-basis financial information. Another example is Mr. Akira Nagatsuma (the Democratic Party of Japan), who were the Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare, also publish the yearly-basis financial information on his website.

        Mr. Kobayashi, Vice Director at the election section at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications says "The 13 head quarters and 194 chapters of political parties all submitted their 2012 financial reports (100 percents of the head quarters and chapters of all political party), while other 3045 political organizations submitted them (86.4% of all other political organizations)" in the press report dated on November 29, 2013.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 17, 2014

        2. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division who requested anonymity, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 13, 2015.

        3. Website of Taro Kohno; http://www.taro.org/reports/

        4. Website of Akira Nagatsuma; http://naga.tv/report.html

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        25
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        As for election campaign, candidates have to distinguish in-kind contributions from money contrbutions. Outside the campaign, political organizations including parties, parties' fund-management organizations and candidates' fund-management organizations do not disclose type of contributions. In the financial report format, there is no space where such information is filled.

        If the amount of contribution from one person is less than 50,000 yens (US$424) a year, itemized information such as name, address or occupation is not required to be disclosed. Therefore, some contributions contain neither their type nor contributers' names although some political parties disclose itemized contributions whose amounts are less than 50,000 yens (US$424).

        In addition, some contributions are classified as the sales of the tickets for fund-raising parties and listed as anonymous. For example, the former Prime Minister Taro Aso listed the income of the sales of 9,309 tickets for two fund-raising parties as 126 million yens (US$1,068,626) in 2010. But a staff of the hotel where the party was held says "The room contains only 2,000 people and the attendants were only 1,500 in each time." Therefore, 7,309 of 9,309 tickets were not able to be used for entering the venue and several thousands of tickets were bought by people who do not intend to join the party and have some meals and drinks. In essence, buying such tickets is nearly the same as contributions. Itemized list of ticket-buyer is not required to be disclosed unless his/her payment for the tickets is excess 200,000 yens (US$1,696), while itemized list of contributor, as noted above, is required to be disclosed if the amout of contribution is 50,000 (US$424) yens or more a year.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Entry example of campaign finance report; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000230604.pdf

        2. Website of the Tokyo Metropolitan Election Administration Committee, Entry example of annual political finance report; http://www.senkyo.metro.tokyo.jp/shikin/pdf/syuusi_rei.pdf

        3. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Annual political finance report, 2013; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/reports/SF20141128.html

        4. Website of Kyodo Press, Taro Aso's political finance report; http://www.47news.jp/news/2011/11/post_20111129152732.html

        5. Website of Professor Kamiwaki; http://blogos.com/article/26547/

        6. Interview with Mr. Takahashi, an officer at Political Finance Section in the Ministry of Internal affairs and Communicaions on October 30, 2014.

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        The Political Funds Control Act, in the Article 20, stipulates that the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications or the prefectural Electoral Administration Committees must publicize the full annual financial reports or the draft of them which were submitted by political organizations including parties, parties' fund-management organizations and candidates' fund-management organizations. The reports must be submitted by March 31(Article 12). The full reports or the drafts of them must be publicized by November 30 and must be available to the public for three years. The Act does not say what types of information must be contained in the drafts, however, the full reports should be disclosed if anyone requests (Article 20).

        The Article 192 of the Public Offices Election Act requires the central and prefectural election commissions to publicize the drafts of the post-election reports submitted by candidates, and those drafts must be publicly available. Although the Act does not say what types of information must be contained in the drafts, the full reports should be reserved for three years from submission and be disclosed if anyone requests.

        Both laws do not require that such information is publicized in digital format.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act; Article 12, 20; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

        2. Public Offices Election Act; Article 192; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

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        27
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        50
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        All relevant financial information including election period is freely available on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications or the prefectural Election Administration Committees. But it is not available in machine readable format (usually they just upload the photocopies of the original documents and the file type is PDF). Also, it is available as soon as a citizen requests it and allowed to copy at the public office where the report is submitted: the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications or the prefectural Election Administration Committees.

        The financial reports are submitted by the political organizations including political parties, parties’ fund-management organizations and candidates' fund-management organizations. Although there is a customized excel file, candidates can fill the form by hand. While lots of candidates fill the form digitally, publicized information is not available in a machine-readable format.

        As for parties and the Upper House proportional representation candidates, you can see the full financial reports on the website of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Communications. You can see the financial reports of the expenditures over 10,000 yens (US$85) and donations on the website.

        As for constituency based candidates (both of Lower House and Upper House elections), the full reports sometimes appear on the websites of prefectural Election Administration Committees. According to Tokyo Shimbun Newspaper, 18 of 47 prefectural Eection Administration Committees disclose full reports on their websites and all 47 Committees disclose at least one of full reports or the draft. For example, the Kanagawa Prefectural Election Administration Committee discloses such information online.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Political financial reports in the 2012 fiscal year; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/reports/SF20131129.html

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Reports of the political finance in the 2012 fiscal year of Your Party; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/contents/131129/0001300113.pdf

        3. Interview with Mr. Noboru Yamaguchi, accounting manager with Your Party, on September 22, 2014.

        4. Website of Tokyo Shimbun Newspaper; Online disclosure of reports of political finance; http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2014111702000110.html

        5. Website of Kanagawa Prefecture; Reports of political finance in the 2013 fiscal year; http://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/osirase/9400/H261126/index.html

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        28
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        100
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        All the party financial reports submitted adhere to a standardized format, as seen in the consistency of the 2012 reports published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The Ministry publishes guidelines to regulate the submissions of individual candidates and ensure that they follow the same format when submitting their financial information. Such financial information is always available to the public in a standardized format. The financial information is published in a standardized format under the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication.

        Mr. Kei Shiraishi, an officer of the financial reports section of the political organizations in the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Communications noted that all the party financial reports submitted adhere to a standardized format because they ask the individual candidates to record the financial information in a standardized format. Additionally, they sometimes help them to correct and complete it if they have minor mistakes such as not writing the names and the dates. There is the webpage of the guidance and help of the record where the Ministry offers the customized excel file.

        As for the Upper House proportional representation candidates, they follow to the instructions by the Ministry directly because they submit their reports to the Ministry. As for constituency based candidates (both of Lower House and Upper House elections), they submit their reports to Prefectural Election Administration Committees. For example, Tottori Prefectural Election Administration Committee's website publishes such information, and the format is the same among all political organizations including candidates' fund-management organizations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Reports of political finance in the 2012 fiscal year; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/reports/SF20131129.html

        2. Interview with Mr. Kei Shiraishi, an official in charge of financial reports at Political Funds Division, Local Governance Bureau, Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Communications on November 19, 2014.

        3. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Guidance and help for the submission of political finance information; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/sakusei_shien.html

        4. Website of the Tottori Prefectural Election Administration Committee; http://www.pref.tottori.lg.jp/239058.htm

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        29
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        In November 2014, official political finance reports in the 2013 fiscal year were open to the public. Immediately, lots of mainstream media gather, analyze and investigate the data and publish or broadcast some news reports. Tokyo Shimbun Newspaper analyzed the data and reported that 17 of the top 20 politicians who collected political funds in 2013 were belong to the Liberal Democratic Party. TV Asahi News investigated the former Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Yuko Obuchi's fund-management organization's report and reported that the organization bought lots of green onions (the amount was 658,700 yens (US$5,587)) in 2013. Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper examined the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko's fund-management organization's report and found that 5 executives in the same company have repeatedly contributed 5 million yens (US$42,406) for 7 years. The Newspaper wondered if those 5 persons have voluntarily contributed or not. If the contributions were forced by someone, it can be violation of law. These 3 news stories were reported within only 10 days. Lots of mainstream media very frequently refer to the official political finance reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources
        1. Website of Tokyo Shimbun Newspaper, Reports of political finance in 2013; http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/politics/news/CK2014120602000136.html

        2. Website of TV Asahi News, Ms. Obchi's fund-management organization bought green onions; http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/news_politics/articles/000039666.html

        3. Website of Mainichi Shimbun Newspape, Mr. Seko's fund-management organization has received 5 million yens contributions every year; http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20141129k0000m010163000c.html

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        30
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        In the Upper House election on July 21, 2013, there were more than two documented cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws:

        -1. Tadashi Hirono case. A secretary of Mr. Tadashi Hirono, a member of the House of Councillors, asked 5 women to be campaign-car-staffs and paid excessive salary to them. Campaign-car-staffs can be paid while other campaign staffs are not allowed to be paid. The amount of salary for a campaign-car-staff should be 15,000 yens (US$127) or less a day. The secretary paid 30,000 yens (US$254) a day. The guilt-by-association stipulation was applied to the secretary and Hirono, so Hirono was prohibited to run for the Upper House elections for 5 years.

        -2. Hiroshige Seko case. 2 supporters of Mr. Hiroshige Seko, a member of the House of Councillors, paid money to 3 women and asked for them to be campaign staffs. The 2 supporters were sentenced to a fine for the crime. They are outside the scope of guilt-by-association stipulation sheme, so Seko can keep his seat in the Diet.

        -3. Wining and dining by an unemployed man. ??An unemployed man, who is a supporter of a losing candidate in the 2013 Upper House election, committed wining and dining. He was sentenced to a fine for the crime. He was outside the guilt-by-association stipulation scheme.

        In the Lower House election on December 16, 2012, there were more than two documented cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws:

        -1. Yoshimi Watanabe (Your Party Leader) scandal (unregistered loan 500 million yens (US$4,240,580) from DHC. Corp). Mr. Yoshimi Watanabe, a member of the House of Representative and the Leader of one of the major opposition parties borrowed money of 500 million yens (US$4,240,580) from the owner of a private enterprise for the 2012 Lower House election (He had borrowed another 300 million yens (US$2,544,348) for the 2012 Upper House election and had returned it) but did not register it on the financial report.

        -2. Takeshi Tokuda, then member of the House of Representatives (the Liberal Democratic Party) was reported of not reporting of donations from their family business in the 2012 Lower House election.

        -3. If candidates' fund-management organizations borrow money, they have to report that but personal loans are not required to report. Therefore, more than 50 national Diet members personally borrow money and use it for their political activities. However, those ways are seen as circumvention by critics.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Guilt-by-association stipulation is applied to ex-Diet member Hirono, April 12, 2014.

        2. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, 2 local assembly members are punished by a fine: violation in the Upper House election, August 10, 2013.

        3. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Wining and dining by an unemployed man, August 6, 2013.

        4. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Your Party Leader borrowed huge sum of money, but didn't list it; http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201403270058

        5. Website of Japan Times, Your Party chief probed over 8 million yens in loans before two elections; http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/03/27/national/politics-diplomacy/your-party-leader-allegedly-borrowed-%C2%A5800-million-without-reporting/#.VEmswMneg71

        6. Website of Mainich Japan, Ex-Tokyo Governor Inose bears heavy responsibility for betraying residents' trust; http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20140329p2a00m0na010000c.html

        7. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 17, 2014.

        8. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, 53 legislators personally borrowed money for political uses; http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201405120047

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        31
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        There was no case of vote buying which was committed by candidate's relative or executive campaign staff during the election period. Simple vote-buying or wining and dining was seldom reported in the 2013 Upper House election. In addition, such simple vote-buying or wining and dining usually occured outside of the guilt-by-association stipulation scheme (If candidates' families or executive campaign staffs such as candidates' secretaries or persons in charge of campaign fund accounting conduct electoral violations, guilt-by-association stipulation scheme will be applied). For example, as noted in Indicator 30, an unemployed man, who is a supporter of a losing candidate in the 2013 Upper House election, committed wining and dining. Although he was sentenced to a fine for the crime, he was outside the guilt-by-association stipulation scheme.

        Apart from simple vote-buying, the law prohibits "buying for asking to be campaign staff". In law, almost all campaign staffs should be volunteers (except staffs who ride on campaign car or staffs who work as rank-and-file workers). If candidates pay money for their staff, it is regarded as "buying for asking to be campaign staff". The most famous case of this kind of buying in recent national election is Takeshi Tokuda's one. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that the Tokyo Local Court accused that Mr. Takeshi Tokuda's executive campaign staff conducted "buying for asking to be campaign staff" when he ran for the Lower House election on December 16, 2012. However, no news of simple vote-buying is found in the 2012 Lower House election.

        There are some news reports of vote-buying or wining and dining outside the election campaigns. Professor Ishii cites the most recent news reports on the Yuko Obuchi, then a cabinet member and a member of the house of Representative's case. It was first reported in the weekly magazine Shukan Shinchou in early October and the news was succeeded by tabloid newspapers and regular media in general. As noted in Indicator 20, Ms. Yuko Obuchi resigned a cabinet minister because her supporters' group gave benefits (inviting a bus tour at abnormally low price) to voters, which is banned under the Public Offices Election Act.

        Also as mentioned in Indicator 20, Ms. Midori Matsushima resigned cabinet minister because she distributed paper fans among voters in her constituency. The Act bans candidates from donating goods of a certain value to voters.

        Although Ms. Obuchi and Ms. Matsuhima resigned as ministers and people think they could not provide appropriate explanations, they claim that they are not guilty and they are not arrested.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Professor Yoichi Ishii, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 17, 2014

        2. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Wining and dining by an unemployed man, August 6, 2013.

        3. Website of the Guardian, Two Japanese Ministers Quit after Financial Allegations, Justin McCurry, October 20, 2014; http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/20/japans-trade-minister-yuko-obuchi-quits

        4. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Ex-Diet member Tokuda is banned to run for elections for 5 years, June 14, 2014; http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG6F463WG6FUTIL01K.html

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        32
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Several civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        Ombusman on Political Finance is constituted by citizens and experts including lawyers, qualified accountants, schollars and jounalists. According to its website, this organization was established in March 2002. The organization monitors, investigates and researches political finance and sometimes makes complaints about serious cases. This organiztion is recently interested in political finance reports concerning Mr. Yoichi Masuzoe, a former leader of the New Renaissance Party.

        The Japan P.E.N Club, Japan Civil Liberties Union and Access-Info Clearinghouse Japan launched "project for open government" and provided useful links page to the websites of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and 47 prefectural election committees for people to access political finance data easily.

        In local level, Civil Ombusman Gunma submitted a letter of complaint against Ms. Obuchi's abuse of political finance to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. The organization claimed that Obuchi's supporter's club held a bus tour but there was no record about the tour on the political finance report.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources
        1. Website of Ombusman on Political Finance; http://homepage2.nifty.com/~matsuyama/

        2. Website of Project for Open Government, Let's check political finance reports before voting; http://clearing-house.org/opengov/

        3. Website of Civil Ombusman Gunma; http://www.ne.jp/asahi/ombudsman/gunma/20141116_reikaihoukoku.htm

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        33
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        There were reforms in Political Funds Control Act in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

        2005 reform: 1) The amount of political contributions from a political organization to another political organization was restricted under 50 million yens (US$424,058) a year. 2) In addition, the reform required that contributions to/from parties' fund-management organizations must be done by bank transfer only.

        Before the reform, the amounts of political contributions between political organizations are not limited. In 2005, a political organization which is established by dentists secretly gave 100 million yens (US$848,116) to a political organization which is established by national Diet members by hand.

        2006 reform: 1) The deadline of submitting financial reports were clearly specified. 2) Within Japanese companies which are mainly consisted by foreigners or foreign companies are prohibited to contribute to political organizations, the companies which have been continuously listed on the stock exchange market for five years or more can contribute to political organizations.

        2007 reform: 1) All expenditure descriptions (except for salary) must be in written form and the copies of the receipts should be filed. 2) Candidates' fund-management organizations are prohibited to acquire real estates. 3) Political organizations concerning national Diet members must report all expenditure description with copies of the receipts over 10,000 yens (US$85) except for salary. (4) They must save receipts of all expenditures regardless of the amounts and must disclose them if anyone requests. 5) All Diet members’ financial reports have to be audited by registered auditors. 6) Committee to reform political funds was established.

        Before the reform, some fund-management organizations concerning national Diet members recorded more than million yens as fabulous rental-office fee or fabulous light, energy and water expenses. In 2007, such inappropriate financial records were revealed and people thought national Diet members' financial reports should be regulated more strictly.

        In 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan submitted a reform bill but it was not passed. The reform bill proposed that (1) political organizations concerning national Diet members should not be handed down from the Diet members to their sons or close relatives when they die or retire from office and that (2) companies or organizations should not buy tickets for fund-raising parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Mr. Yoichi Ishi, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014.

        2. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        3. Interview with Yukiko Miki, Chair, Free Access Information Center on October 9, 2014

        4. Website of the member of the House of Councillors Kenzo Fujisue, the Draft of Amendments to the Act Reported; http://www.fujisue.net/image/090309%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB%E8%B3%87%E9%87%91%E9%96%A2%E4%BF%82%E5%B9%B4%E8%A1%A8.pdf

        5. Website of the Democratic Party of Japan; Reform bill of the Political Funds Control Act was submitted to the House of the Representatives; http://archive.dpj.or.jp/news/?num=16100

  • expand button!

    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
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        34
        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Anyone can establish political organizations, however, such organizations are required to submit annual financial reports under the Political Funds Control Act. The reports have to include itemized contributions received and expenditures (except salary) if the amounts are 50,000 yens (US$424) or more. Such information is open to the public by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications or Prefectural election committees (Article 11, 12, 20). Unions, etc, are not required to report any information to the electoral authorities re: their political activities.

        During election campaign period, political activities by any organizations which do not field any candidates in the election are strictly regulated. It is prohibited for such third-party organizations to distribute political handbills, to show political posters and political signs, and to express political messages through audio equipments during campaign period (Article 201.5-6). Third-party organizations can still use commercial mass media, however, they cannot commit to election campaign. The contents must not include specific candidates' names and faces. So, it is very difficult for third-party organizations to support specific candidates.

        Under the Public Offices Election Act, anyone including candidates or political parties cannot use any commercial mass media for electoral campaign except the Act allows (Article 142). Political parties can buy air time, but they are not allowed to broadcast their electoral campaign. The air time is regarded as their ordinary political activities, so they cannot ask to vote them and cannot show and call their candidates' names or faces. They can promote their political opinions only.

        The Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities prohibits that non-profit organizations advocate political activities as their main purposes and that they support or oppose any candidates or parties (Article 2). Therefore, non-profit organizations cannot contribute to any candidates or parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities; Article 2; 1988; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/H10/H10HO007.html

        2. Political Funds Control Act; Article 11, 12, 20; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

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        35
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        The authorities ask candidates, parties and political organizations to submit financial reports, however, they do not monitor financial information of individuals and groups which are not political organizations. Because labor unions, industrial groups or think tanks are not political organizations, the authorites do not monitor their financial information.

        Among third-party organiztions, labor unions actively join election campaign. Hideki Ishibashi, accountant says that labor unions do not report to an oversight authority. But he mentions that if political organizations receive donation from anyone including labor unions, such political organizations must report it under the Political Funds Control Act.

        Everyone can establish political organizations, so members of labor unions or industrial groups sometimes build up their own political organizations outside their labor unions themselves or their industrial groups themselves (Such political organizations are formally separated from their principal bodies while they are actually connected each other). In such cases, they submit annual reports, as per the law, and the authorities can monitor their financial information. However, such political organizations (and individuals and other organiztions except political parties) almost never make political advertisements on mass media. An officer of Kanagawa Prefectual Election Administration Committee says that she do not know any cases that any organiztions except political parties make political advertisements on mass media in order to explicitly or implicitly support specific candidates or parties during and outside campaign period.

        Professor Rei Shiratori pointed out that companies by themselves do not make political advertisement on mass media. In Japanese political culture, companies refrain from expressing their own political opinions in public. Companies choose to give political contributions to parties instead of conducting political activities by themselves.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Election organizations are established under the terms set out in the Public Offices Elections Act. As mentioned, labor unions do join election campaigns. There are also third party small groups (Katteren - literally translated as group of own will) which are not formed through the request of the candidate but formed by a group of supporters who share the same opinion. However, no information is found on major activities by these groups, mainly spreading the word within their own group. Today, their activities are mainly conducted through supporter member meetings, bulletins and publications, the group website and internet blogs, are centered around political elections, international relations and eco-business. The group specifies that they are a third party organization separate from political organizations established in accordance with the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Mr. Hideki Ishibashi, an accountant on October 30, 2014.

        2. Interview with an officer of Kanagawa Prefectual Election Administration Committee who requested anonymity, on January 14, 2015.

        3. Interview with Professor Rei Shiratori, the President of the Institute for Political Studies in Japan on January 15, 2015.

        Reviewer source: Katteren Group Website: http://www.kaerusouken.jp/election_01.html. Accessed on January 26, 2014.

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        36
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Information on non-political organizations is not frequently publicly accessible. The editor of the major magazine, Weekly Post says "The information is not publicly available. We can see it when deep throat or whistle blowers in the organizations offer the information. The deep throat is often a board member of the union when there is an internal conflict".

        Political organizations have to submit annual financial report to the authorities, so journalists and citizens can access to such information at free of charge or at the cost of photocopying. However, the format of the information is not machine readable (the file type is usually PDF. just a photocopy through scanner). Furthermore, the reports were published more than three months later. As for 2012 fiscal year, the reports were published in the end of November 2013.

        Apart from political organizations, companies or labor unions can give contributions to political organizations. Even though the third parties do not report such contributions, political organizations have to report if they recieve such contributions. So, journalists and citizens can access to such information. But, as noted above, it is not machine readable format.

        Companies or labor unions sometimes give manpower to candidates. Since electoral campaign should be engaged by volunteers, candidates seek such manpower during campaign period. The manpower sometimes comes from companies or labor unions whose employees support the candidates. It is difficult to calculate the opportunity costs and the costs are almost invisible for outsiders.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. There are also third party small groups (Katteren - literally translated as group of own will) which are not formed through the request of the candidate but formed by a group of supporters who share the same opinion. However, no information is found on major activities by these groups, mainly spreading the word within their own group. Today, their activities are mainly conducted through supporter member meetings, bulletins and publications, the group website and internet blogs, are centered around political elections, international relations and eco-business. The group specifies that they are a third party organization separate from political organizations established in accordance with the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Mr. Kazuyasu Kudo, the editor of the popular magazine, "Weekly Post" on September 22, 2014.

        2. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        3. Interview with Yoichi Ishii, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014

        4.?Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Reports of political finance in the 2012 fiscal year; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/reports/SF20131129.html

        Reviewer source: Katteren Group Website: http://www.kaerusouken.jp/election_01.html. Accessed on January 26, 2014.

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        37
        Score
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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        Under the Public Offices Election Act, anyone cannot use any commercial mass media for electoral campaign except the Act allows (Article 142). Political parties can buy air time, but they are not allowed to broadcast their electoral campaign. The air time is regarded as their ordinary political activities, so they cannot ask to vote them and cannot show and call their candidates' names or faces. They can promote their political opinions only. Apart from mass media, it is prohibited for third-party organizations to distribute handbills, to show posters and signs, and to use audio equipments during campaign period even if their contents are not for electoral campaigns but for ordinary political activities (Article 201.5-6). Anyone can use internet for electoral campaign, however, nobody can pay for online advertisements for electoral campaign (Article 142.6). Therefore, third-party organizations do not pay for advertisement tools (including not only mass media but also face-to-face communication tools like handbills, posters, street speech) in order to influence an election by themselves.

        Labor unions and industry groups sometimes nominate a candidate among members, give donations and ask their members to vote for the candidate through their meeting and leaflets. They do not spend money directly on general advertising such as TV commercials or newspaper advertisement. They often spend money for publishing their organs and bulletins and they recommend specific candidates, but those are mainly distributed to their own members.

        The activities of labor unions or some other third party organizations are based on their members' payment. Professor Minoru Ouchi says, "The third-party actors collect funds by asking their members or other third party organizations."

        As for manpower, third-party organizatons including companies and labor unions sometimes cast important roles in election. As noted before, electoral campaign should be engaged by volunteers. So, candidates always seek manpower and the manpower sometimes comes from companies or labor unions. Providing manpower is very important action by these organizations in election.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. As written in question 35 and 36, there is the Katteren (literally translated as group of own will), however activities are basically within the supporters group. The concept of Katteren originated in Okinawa in 1971 with the objective of preserving nature. Its existence became widely known in Japan in 1983 when citizens gathered together on their own will to support Takahiro Yokomichi during the elections for Governor of Hokkaido, where Yokomichi won against a candidate from the conservative party. Today, their activities are mainly conducted through supporter member meetings, bulletins and publications, the group website and internet blogs, are centered around political elections, international relations and eco-business. The group specifies that they are a third party organization separate from political organizations established in accordance with the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 142, 201; 1947; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Website of the Japan Times, The political parties are racing to consolidate support from labor unions and industry groups ahead of the general election; http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/07/national/hashimoto-tweets-challenge-to-election-law/#.VB1CrPl_t1Y

        3. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 17, 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Katteren Group Website: http://www.kaerusouken.jp/election_01.html. Accessed on January 26, 2014.

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    50
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      Monitoring Capabilities
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        38
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        There are some authorities which mandated to monitor political finance information, but they are parts of administration, being connected to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and not independent. Additionally, neither of the two entities tasked with monitoring political finance information have investigation or audit powers.

        The Political Funds Control Act states that lawyers, qualified accountants or tax accountants can be "registered auditors of political finance". The Act requires that political organizations (including candidates' fund-management organizations) concerning the incumbent Diet members have to show their annual political finance reports to the registered auditors of political finance, then and submit the annual reports to the authorities with the certificates issued by the registered auditors (Article 19). Parties and parties' fund-management organizations also required to submit their annual finance reports with the certificates issued by auditors (Article 14). Therefore, the audit process of annual political fund reports is primarily enforced by such auditors. As for financial reports of electoral campaign, such certificates are not required to be submitted.

        According to the Political Funds Control Act, if political organizations (including parties, candidates and their fund-management organizations) mainly operate in a prefecture, the prefectural election administration committees are in charge of the finance of the organizations. If such organizations operate in two or more prefectures, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications is in charge (Article 6). As for candidates' campaign finances, the prefectural Election Administration Committees are in charge of constituency based candidates and the Central Election Administration Council is in charge of the Upper House proportional representation candidates, under the Public Offices Election Act (Article 189).

        The Election Administration Committees in 47 Prefectures are selected by the Prefectural Assemblies. They are mandated to monitor political finance information, but do not have investigation or audit powers.

        The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications and the Central Election Administration Council are mandated to monitor political finance information, but does not have investigation or audit powers.

        Apart from these, there is the Committee to Justify Political Finance. The Committee is mandated to monitor too. The national Diet chooses the members of the Committee independently. The office staffs of the Committee and other administrative bureaucrats do not infect the selection process. However, the Committe is still a part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The Committee neither has investigation or audit power. The Act says that the national Diet nominates the members of the Committee to Justify Political Finance. The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication appoints them, and that the finance information of political organizations of the Diet members must be audited by the registered political finance auditors (Article 19.29-37).

        The Act states that the Minister or Prefectural Election Administration Committee can order political organizations to explain or correct their financial reports in the case where the reports are not proper in format or lack in information (Article 31).

        The Article 19 of the Act specifies that the political organizations must submit finance information to the Minister or Prefectural Election Administration Committees.

        The Articles 6 of the Prosecutor's Office Act state that prosecutors can prosecute and investigate any criminals, while the Article 2 of the Police Act authorizes the police to investigate and arrest criminals.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Political Funds Control Act, Article 6, 14, 19, 31; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

        2. Public Offices Election Act, Article 189; 1947; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        3. Public Prosecutor's Office Act, Article 6; 1952; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S22/S22HO061.html

        4. Police Act, Article 2; 1954; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S29/S29HO162.html

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        39
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        There are statements about the Central Election Administration Council in the Public Offices Election Act. According to the Act, its five members are nominated from non-parliament members by the national Diet decision and appointed by the Prime Minister. The Council governs thousands of local election administration committees in 47 prefectures. The number of the Council members belonging to the same party is less than 3 (Article 5).

        Under the Political Funds Control Act, the members of the Committee to Justify Political Finance are nominated by the Diet and appointed by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication. The number of the Committee members belonging to the same party is less than 3. The Act says that the Committee members should appointed within academic experts, however, there is no detailed criteria (Article 19.29-37).

        According to the Local Autonomy Act, the number of the members of the Prefectural Election Administration Committee is 4 and they are appointed by the local assembly. The number of the Committee members belongs to the same party is less than 2. The Act states that the members should have goodness and fairness about politics and elections (Article 181-184).

        Thus, high-level appointment is based in a public appointment process. But the regulations do not require qualifications or experiences at all, or just say about academic experts and do not specify the detail of the qualifications or experiences.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 5; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Funds Control Act; Article 19; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

        3. Local Autonomy Act; Article 181-184; 1947; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S22/S22HO067.html

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        40
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        Mr. Koki Ishii says that the members of the Committee to Justify Political Finance are nominated by the Diet. 3 of 5 members of the Committee to Justify Political Finance were reappointed and 2 were newly appointed on April 1, 2014. The current 5 members include a lawyer, a qualified accountant, a tax accountant, a Professor and a chair of a Foundation.

        An officer of the Committee to Justify Political Finance explains that the composition of the committee members is always same; 1 lawyer, 1 qualified accountant, 1 tax accountant, 1 adademic person and 1 ex-bureaucrat who was in charge of political finance. The national Diet decides who are selected as the members. So, the selection process can be influenced by political pressure.

        An officer of the Central Election Administration Council said that the members of the Council are selected by the national Diet and the selection process can be influenced by political pressure. According to national Diet's record, parties submit recommended candidates and the Speaker appoints them. The larger parties recommend larger number of the candidates. In the most recent case, the Liberal Democratic Party chose 2, while the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Restoration Party and the New Komei Party chose 1 each. Some parties recommend lawyers, qualified accountants or tax accountants while other parties recommend ex-Diet members. As for current members, 2 are lawyers and 1 is qualified accountant while 2 are ex-Diet members.

        Professor Minoru Ouchi says that "The most recent member of the Central Election Administration Council was added (replaced) in 2013. There is never a public competition. The appointees of the Committee to Justify Political Finance are listed in the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, but never reported in mainstream media in these 3 years."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Kazuyasu Kudo, the editor of the popular magazine, "Weekly Post" on September 22, 2014.

        2. Interview with Mr. Koki Ishii, an officer at the Comittee to Justify Political Finance on November 18, 2014.

        3. Interview with an officer at the Comittee to Justify Political Finance who requested anonymity, on January 6, 2015.

        4. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications who requested anonymity, on January 6, 2015.

        5. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014.

        6. Interview with Yoichi Ishi, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on Nov. 10, 2014.

        7. "Personnel shuffle in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications"; Asahi Shimbun Newspaper ; April 1, 2013

        8. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000282911.pdf

        9. Website of the national Diet; http://kokkai.ndl.go.jp/cgi-bin/KENSAKU/swkdispdoc.cgi?SESSION=48823&SAVEDRID=1&PAGE=0&POS=0&TOTAL=0&SRVID=10&DOCID=369&DPAGE=1&DTOTAL=4&DPOS=2&SORTDIR=1&SORTTYPE=0&MODE=1&DMY=49633

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        41
        Score
        NO
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The appointees of the Committee to Justify Political Finance and the Central Election Administration Council do not have the mandate to review cases and issue decisions. As for the Committee to Justify Political Finance, the members set out the common policy of reporting and auditing, train the accountants and advise them. Similarly, Prefectural Election Administration Committees are not given the mandate to review cases and issue decisions. Instead of these organizations, lawyers, qualified accountants or tax accountants primally check financial reports. Or, police or prosecutors can investigate the reports. So, it can be said that private sector has the authority, and that police and prosecutors have the authority for deciding what to investigate.

        According to the Public Offices Election Act (Article 5) and the Political Funds Control Act (Article 19), they are granted security of tenure of 3 years for the Central Election Administration Council and the Committee to Justify Political Finance. Reappointment is permitted. The appointees are removed of the Central Election Administration Council or Committee to Justify Political Finance only by the Prime Minister or the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications with due process by an agreement in the Diet. Under the Local Autonomy Act, the appointees are also granted security of tenure of 4 years. The appointees are only removed from Prefectural Election Administration Committee with due process by an agreement in the local assembly (Article 181-184).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Article 5; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2. Political Funds Control Act; Article 19.26-37; 1948; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

        3. Local Autonomy Act, Article 181-184; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO261.html

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        42
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        The Central Election Administration Council, the Committee to Justify Political Finance and local Election Administration Committees urge candidates and political organizations to submit the financial reports by deadline. It can be happen that mainstream journalism reports a case of improper use of political finance and attracts public attention first, and then the prosecutor's office and the police starts investigation. That is, these bodies' members do not review cases but just monitor cases.

        An officer at the Committee to Justify Political Finance said that he has never heard there are any pressures over the Committee members from political parties. He also explained that the Committee checks the format of the political finance reports only and does not investigate whether the information is true or not, so it can hardly be said that political parties are motivated to infect the decision-making process of the Committee. Similarly, an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that he did not know any cases that the members of the Central Election Administration Council were under political pressures from political parties.

        No cases can be found in which the appointees of the Central Election Administration Council, the Committee to Justify Political Finance and the Prefectural Election Administration Committees resigned.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources
        1. Interview wiht an officer at the Central Election Administration Council on January 6, 2015.

        2. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 6, 2015.

        3. Interview with Mr. Koki Ishii, an officer at the Comittee to Justify Political Finance on November 18, 2014

        4. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        5. Interview with Yoichi Ishi, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014

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        43
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        The Central Election Administration Council has several meetings in a year, however, the Committee do not make any decisons about political finance. Although the Upper House proportional representation candidates submit their campaign financial reports to the Council, the Council officers mainly check the format, spelling and misdescription of the reports. At the meetings, they discuss on a) how long public broadcasting company should air the election broadcast in the coming election; b) who will represent the Committee for the coming election; and c) where the Committee should be held for the coming election. The Committee makes the conclusion through discussion and agreement, not a simple decision by majority.

        The Committee to Justify Political Finance have a meeting once in two months. They discuss mainly on how to train the registered auditors of political finance and improve the quality of the audits. 4454 lawyers, qualified accountants or tax accountants have been recorded as registered auditors of political finance by the end of February 2014. 44 collective training and 366 individual training were executed by the Committee. The Committee do not make any decisions about the annual financial reports. The Committee is mainly engaged in the capacity building.

        Mr. Koki Ishii says describes that "The Committee to Justify Political Finance does not audit nor judge whether the reports are proper or not under the law. They only discuss how to train the registered auditors of political finance. The Committee makes the conclusion through discussion and agreement, not a simple decision by majority."

        Furher investigation is conducted by police and Prosecutor's Office and the Courts judge the cases. Police and Prosecutor's Office decide which cases should be investigated.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communicaions, recorded interview with Mr. Kameba, officer at secretariat to the minister. http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/senkyo_s/naruhodo/naruhodo06.html#chapter1

        2. Mr. Koki Ishi, an officer at the Comittee to justify political Finance on November 18, 2014

        3. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        4. Interview with an officer at the Central Election Administration Council on January 6, 2015.

        5. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 6, 2015.

        The names of anonymous sources are known to Global Integrity and Global Integrity has agreed not to disclose them.

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        44
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        The laws say that the Central Election Administration Council, the Committee to Justify Political Finance and the Prefectural Election Administration Committees monitor political finance reports.

        A officer of the Council says that there is sufficient staff in order to check the format although they do not check the adequateness of the campign finance. A officer of the Committee explain that all the annual political finance reports are primarily checked by the registered auditors, then they are submitted to the authorities. However, some of them are difficult to read or understand. Recently, the Committee promoted registered auditors to submit proper reports in a proper format.

        Mr. Shigeaki Koga is a writer and the former bureaucrat in charge of Political Reforms. He points out that the authority cannot fully monitor the money flow of the political finance. He suggests that the collection of accounts held by the politicians by the banks is necessary. If so, the authority can monitor the money flow.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, The secretariat office of the Committee to Justify Political Finance; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000281809.pdf

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Annual reports of the Committee to Justify Oolitical Finance; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000281809.pdf

        3. Weekly Journal "Ronza", article written by Shigeaki Koga, the writer and the former bureaucrats who are in charge of the Political Reforms on April 28, 2014.

        4. Interview wiht an officer at the Committee to Justify Political Finance on January 6, 2015.

        5. Interview with an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on January 6, 2015.

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        45
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        As noted in Indicator 38, 43 and 44, the authorities do not judge which is inappropriate income or expenditure in essence. These organizations do not investigate on specific cases. Investigations are done by the Police and the prosecutors. There is no evidence that these organizations co-operate with police or prosecutor's office to investigate about recent national elections.

        If the authorites find that some description must be illegal even though they only check the format, they may ask politicians to make corrections. For example, if a report includes a contribution from an individual, and the amount of contribution excess the limit which the law says, the authority may ask them to correct the description. However, they do not investigate whether the case is true or not, even if they feel the report is suspicious or is not true. That is why, once annual political fincance reports are published (usually every November), mainstream media examine the appropriateness of the reports and try to find illegal cases.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Mr. Kusakabe, an officer at the secretariat office of the Committee to Justify Political Finance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, October 30, 2014

        2. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, The annual reports of the secretariat office of the national committee to improve political finance; http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000281809.pdf

        3. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014

        4. Mr. Hideyuki Aoki, an officer of the Committee to Justify Political Finance.

        5. Mr. Takashi Shimasaki, an officer at the Administrative Division, Election Department, Local Administration Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

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        46
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        Because the Central Election Administration Council, the Committee to Justify Political Finance and Prefectural Election Administration Committees do not conduct investigations, they do not publish such information. However, the certificates issued by registered auditors of political finance are open to the public on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Some Prefectural Election Administration Committees release the certificates on their websites.

        As for the Committee to Justify Political Finance, the Committee publishes reports of their recommendation to set or modify the reporting and auditing rule once a year. They hold meeting severy three months and they publishes the minutes of the meeting on the day. But they do not conduct any specific investigation on a specific case.

        Police and prosecutors issue summary reports annually.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources
        1. Website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Reports of political finance in the 2013 fiscal year; http://www.soumu.go.jp/senkyo/seiji_s/seijishikin/reports/SF20141128.html

        2. Interview with Mr. Kusakabe, the secretariat office of the Committee to Justify Political Finance, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, October 30, 2014.

        3. Interview with Professor Minoru Ouchi, Former Professor at Ritsumeikan University on November 10, 2014.

        4. Interview with Yoichi Ishii, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University on November 10, 2014.

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        47
        Score
        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        The Public Offices Election Act defines what violation of campaign finance is; (1) buying (Article 148.2, 221-223.2), (2) decoy (Article 224.2), (3) violation of campaign finance (including making fabulous finance report) (Article 246, 247), and (4) violation of rule of contribution (Article 248, 249). The Act also defines what sanctions are imposed for specific violations. Imprisonment for no more than 3 years or penalty of no more than 500,000 yens (US$4,240) is imposed on a person who commit (1), (3), (4). As for (2), imprisonment for 1 to 6 year(s) is imposed (the sanctions is possibly tighten if the violation is much malicious, e.g. buying lots of electorates can be more strictly punished than buying one person). When a person commits these crimes concerning election and receives sentence of penalty or imprisonment, his/her civil rights is ceased for 5 to 10 years (Article 252).

        In addition, there is guilty-by-association stipulation in the election legislation. If candidate's relatives or executive staffs commit electoral crimes and receive sentence of imprisonment, he/she is deprived of his/her elected post and he/she is prohibited to run for the same type of elections for 5 years. For example, if a candidate who ran for the Lower House election was punished by serious election violation, he/she is banned to run for Lower House elections. But, he/she is still able to run for Upper House elections or local government elecitons. In addition, if he/she change his/her constituency, he/she can run for Lower House election. (Article 251).

        The Political Funds Control Act defines what violation of ordinary political finance outside election campaign is; (1) breach of duty of registration (Article 8, 23), (2) breach of duty of record of political finance report (Article 9-20, 24), (3) breach of duty of submitting financial reports to the authority (including wirting fabulus annual political funds reports)(Article 25), and (4) violation of contributions (Article 26). The Act also defines what sanctions are imposed for specific violations. As for (1) and (3), imprisonment for no more than 5 years or penalty of 1miilion yens (US$10,000) or less. (2) result in imprisonment for no more than 3 years or penalty of 500,000 yens (US$4,240) or less. (4) causes imprisonment for no more than a year or penalty of 500,000 yens (US$4,240) or less (the sanctions possibly vary). When a person commits these political finance crimes and receives sentence of imprisonment, his/her civil rights is ceased for 5 years (Article 252).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources
        1. Public Offices Election Act; Articles 148.2, 221-224, 246-252; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S25/S25HO100.html

        2 Political Funds Control Act; Articles 8-20, 24-28; 1950; http://law.e-gov.go.jp/htmldata/S23/S23HO194.html

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        48
        Score
        NO
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        The Police, the Prosecutor's Office and the Courts independently investigate the cases and impose the sanctions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        49
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        Although the authorities cooperate with investigative organizations when they are asked to disclose information which they have by the Police, the authorities do not take positive actions. If they find clear cases of violation on campaign finance reports or annual political finance reports, they contact with reporters. For example, they find a violation of contribution amounts in a report, they ask the reporter to check it again. Because they do not force the reporter to correct it, some reports possibly include clear cases of violation. Even if they find such clear violations or suspicious cases, they do not report to the Police unless they are asked any inquiries (Of course, they always cooperate with the Police if they are asked so). In addition, late submissions of finance reports are not penalized.

        It cannot be found that any offenders try to make an escape from the sanctions which is confirmed by the Courts. The only way to escape from the verdict is to appeal to Courts. For example, in March 2013, a Lower House member Tomohiro Ishikawa did so.

        As for the Lower House election on December 16, 2012 and the Upper House election on July 21, 2013, there were 2 candidates who were ceased their civil right to run for elections because of guilt-by-association stipulation after the elections. Mr. Takeshi Tokuda won a seat in the Lower House election on December 16, 2012, but he resigned because of his executive campaign staff's violation. In June 2014, the verdict was confirmed and his civil right was ceased for 5 years in application of guilt-by-association stipulation. Mr. Tadashi Hirono was also ceased his right to run for elections because of his secretary violation. Such sanctions were imposed on them for the first time in their lives.

        Outside of guilt-by-association stipulation, someones were punished by fines in the 2013 Upper House election. They conducted wining and dining or buying for asking to be campaign staff. In these cases, the punished persons were not executive campaign staffs.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. All cases brought to light are investigated by the police with the cooperation of the oversight authorities, and sanctions are imposed and complied to.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources
        1. Interview with an officer of Kanagawa Prefectual Election Administration Committee who requested anonymity on January 14, 2015.

        2. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Guilty verdicts upheld for 3 former Ozawa aides; http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behindnews/socialaffairs/AJ201303140053

        3. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Ex-Diet member Tokuda is banned to run for elections for 5 years; http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG6F463WG6FUTIL01K.html

        4. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Guilt-by-association stipulation system is applied to former Upper House member, March 28, 2014; http://digital.asahi.com/article_search/

        5. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, 2 local assembly members are punished by a fine: violation in the Upper House election, August 10, 2013; http://digital.asahi.com/article_search/

        6. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Wining and dining by an unemployed man, August 6, 2013; http://digital.asahi.com/article_search/

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        50
        Score
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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        As noted in Indicator 38, parties, parties' fund-management organizations and political organizations concerning the incumbent Diet members have to submit their annual political financial reports to the authorities with certificates issued by auditors. It means that the audit process of these reports is primarily enforced by auditors in private sector. Furthermore, as for financial reports of electoral campaign, such certificates are not required to submit. Therefore, the authorities are relatively powerless to audit, investigate or sanction.

        As for electoral campaign finance, guilt-by-association stipulation scheme is effective. As noted in Indicator 31, the law prohibits not only simple vote-buying but also buying for asking to be campaign staff. The Police and the Prosecutor's Office are eager to punish both of simple vote-buying and buying for asking to be staff regardless of the amounts of money which were used for buying. For example, Mr. Tokuda's case and Mr. Hirono's case (mentioned in Indicator 49) were not the cases of simple vote-buying but the cases of buying for asking to be campaign staff.

        As for ordinary political finance outside campaign, as noted in Indicator 42, it can be happen that mainstream journalism reported violations first, and then the Prosecutor's Office and the Police starts investigation. So, the functions of media or civil organizations whose main concerns are disclosure of information are very important. Taking account of heavy reliance on private sector auditors in the audit system, the function of private sector is indispensable.

        Between January 2013 and July 2014, one of the most notable incidents in Japanese political finance system was Mr. Yoshimi Watanabe's case, which shed light on the relationship between political funds and politicians' pocket money. In 2014, he was forced to resign his leadership of Your Party, one of the major political parties, because he personally borrowed money but the money was suspected to be spent for election campaigns and he did not record such money on his election campaign finance report. Apart from Watanabe's case, there were more than 50 Diet members personally borrowed money and spent it for political activities. Although campaign money partly comes from party's subsidy, the shortage of expenditure in election campaign is often compensated by candidate's pocket money. Professor Tomoaki Iwai, Nihon Universtity, says, "Apart from contributions, there is no limitation on debt loans. Therefore, many politicians prefer personal loans in order to camouflage. In Japan, the border between political funds and politicians' pocket money is vague. Inappropriate personal financial disclosures by politicians should be punished in order to prevent recurrence." So, we need poperly control or clarify the money flow from candidate's pocket money to his/her campaign office's expenditure.

        Professor Rei Shiratori says that the most urgent areas of reform in Japanese political finance system are (1) companies' contributions, (2) guilt-by-association scheme and (3) personal loans. He says "Public subsidies have given to political parties since 1995. If political parties recieve such subsidies, they should not recieve contributions from companies or organizations. The companies' contributions to individual politicians have been already banned, however, companies should be prohibited to contritubute to political parties. The next priority is guilt-by-association scheme. Guilt-by-association is very effective, but there are some loopholes in the scheme. Even if candidates are punished by this scheme, they are still able to run for elctions. If candidates are punished under the scheme, they are prohibited to run for the same type of elections in which they conducted the violation. For example, a candidate punished because of serious electoral violation in Lower House election, he/she is prohibited to run for Lower House elections for 5 years but he/she is still able to run for Upper House election or local government elections. Moreover, the scheme is only applied to election campaign now. The scheme should be applied to ordinary political activities too. In addition, we need to revise the scheme of disclosure of politicians' personal assets. Although incumbent Diet members have to disclose their personal assets, they do not need to disclose their personal loans. The information of politicians' personal loans should be open to the public."

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources
        1. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Ex-Diet member Tokuda is banned to run for elections for 5 years, June 14, 2014; http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG6F463WG6FUTIL01K.html

        2. Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Guilt-by-association stipulation system is applied to former Upper House member, March 28, 2014; http://digital.asahi.com/article_search/

        3. Website of Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, 53 legislators personally borrowed money for political uses; http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201405120047

        4. Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper, Mr. Watanabe resigns Your Party's leader, April 8, 2014; http://www.nifty.com/mdcplus/

        5. Interview with Professor Rei Shiratori, the President of the Institute for Political Studies in Japan on January 15, 2015.

        6. Verena Blechinger, "Corruption through Political Contributions in Japan," Transparency International Workshop Document, October 2000. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN013118.pdf

Japan has national elections for the House of Representatives (Lower House) and the House of Councillors (Upper House). The Lower House consists of a total of 480 members, 300 members who are elected in single-member constituency based election and 180 members who are elected in proportional representation election. The term of office in the Lower House is 4 years. As for the Lower House election, constituency based election applies First-Past-The-Post system and proportional representation election. The Lower House proportional representation election introduces closed-list system. The Upper House consists of 242 members, 146 members who are elected in single-member or multi-member constituency based election and 96 members who are elected in proportional representation election. The term of office in the Upper House is 6 years, in which elections are held every 3 years for half of the members of the House. Therefore, 73 members are elected in constituency based election and 48 members are elected in proportional representation election in each Upper House election. As for the Upper House election, 31 members come from single-member constituencies and 42 members come from multi-member constituencies. In the multi-member constituencies, Single Non-Transferable Voting system is applied. Open-list system is used in the Upper House proportional representation election.

The campaign finance is mainly managed by each candidate. Each candidate collects donations, decides what to spend money for campaign, and submits a campaign finance report to Prefectural Election Administration Committee. The shortfall of the campaign finance is sometimes compensated by candidte's pocket money. Although parties are not allowed to spend money 'directly' in order to support specific candidates, parties can give money to specific candidates. So, parties' money goes to candidates first, then they spend.

The most recent national election (except by-election) was the Upper House election on July 21, 2013. The most recent Lower House election during or before the research period was held on December 16, 2012. After the research period, the Lower House election was held on December 14, 2014.