Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to step down as leader of his faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party amid popular criticism.

The LDP has recently faced criticism amid allegations that five factions, including Kishida's, did not accurately report their revenues from political fundraising events, from which additional revenues may have been used as bribes or kickbacks. While Kishida's predecessors typically resigned as leaders of their factions during their terms as prime minister to avoid the appearance of patronage-driven politics, he has retained the position since assuming office in October 2021, Japan News Agency (Kyodo) reported.

In the wake of the political funds scandal, Kishida instructed LDP executives to refrain from hosting fundraising parties, but there have been increasing calls for him to leave his faction to regain public trust for the ruling party.

The biggest faction chaired by House of Representatives member Ryu Shionoya, is suspected to have pooled secret funds amounting to over 100 million yen.

The Cabinet's approval ratings have fallen to their lowest levels since Kishida became prime minister, according to Kyodo. (QNA)
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