Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Thursday to revise its rules to strengthen governance, saying it will move away from factions as vehicles for securing funds and allocating key government and party posts for lawmakers.

The new rules, which are set to be approved at its annual convention later this month, allow factions to continue as "policy groups," while urging its lawmakers to fulfill their accountability when they are alleged to have been involved in a political funds scandal.

The LDP has come under intense scrutiny amid allegations that some of its factions, including the largest one formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, neglected to report portions of their incomes from fundraising parties and created slush funds for years.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (3rd from R) speaks at a political reform panel meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party at the party's headquarters in Tokyo on March 7, 2024. (Kyodo)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been asked by the ruling party to decide on the details of some amendments of the internal rules, lawmakers said.

Kishida said at a party meeting on Thursday that the situation the LDP is facing is "truly serious and we must make a fundamental fresh start without being bound by precedent or custom," emphasizing the importance of bolstering compliance.

The proposed rules stipulate that the party can call on its members to leave the LDP, if an accountant of their political group is arrested or prosecuted in violation of the political funds control law, the lawmakers said.

Currently, the regulations only cover provisions for lawmakers themselves being arrested or indicted in a criminal case, with no mention of those involving accountants.

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