The de facto leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction filed a request Friday for a review of a recommendation that he leave the party over a political fundraising scandal.

Ryu Shionoya, who serves as chairman of the faction formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told reporters that the recommendation was based on "numerous factual errors," demanding a "fair judgement based on the facts."

Among 39 LDP members facing punishment over the scandal, Shionoya and Hiroshige Seko, a key Abe faction member and former LDP secretary general in the House of Councillors, were recommended to leave the party.

Shionoya, a veteran House of Representatives lawmaker, said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who heads the LDP and escaped punishment, should also be held responsible for the scandal, as the issue concerns the entire party.

Ryu Shionoya speaks to reporters in Tokyo on April 12, 2024. (Kyodo)

He also said a thorough investigation by the party or Diet is necessary to get to the bottom of the issue.

The LDP has come under intense scrutiny since some of its factions, including the Abe group, were found to have neglected to fully report revenue from fundraising parties for years, with hundreds of millions of yen passed back to members who had sold tickets to the events.

Shionoya received the second toughest of the party's eight penalties, following expulsion, for not handling the situation appropriately although he was part of the faction's leadership.

The LDP's decision-making General Council is expected to debate whether Shionoya's request should be submitted to the party's ethics committee.

If his request is not approved, he will be expelled from the party unless he offers to leave within 10 days. Shionoya said he intends to quit as a party member if his request is not accepted.

Seko has offered to leave the party after the LDP imposed punishments last week.

In an internal probe, 85 LDP members, including three who are not currently lawmakers but plan to run at the next election, were found to have failed to declare a total of around 580 million yen ($3.8 million) in revenue in their political funds reports over the five years through 2022.

But the LDP leadership sparked a backlash from both inside and outside the party, as the criteria for punishment was unclear and, as a result, the penalties were deemed unfair.

Among other Abe faction executives, former trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and former LDP policy chief Hakubun Shimomura were punished by having their party memberships suspended for one year.

Toshihiro Nikai, a heavyweight whose faction along with the Abe faction was at the center of the scandal, escaped punishment as he has decided not to seek reelection as a lawmaker.

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