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The Japanese Communist Party was close behind the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in political fundraising last year, a Jiji Press survey has found.

The LDP, the top earner among Japanese political parties, raised ¥56.1 billion in 2014, up 4 percent from the previous year, according to the survey released Saturday.

The JCP came next with ¥49.3 billion, up 1.6 percent. The rise reflected an increase in the presence in the Diet of the party, which added seats in the House of Councilors election in 2013 and the House of Representatives election in 2014.

The two were the only ones among the major political parties that enjoyed funding growth last year.

The total amount of funds raised by political parties and organizations in 2014 stood at ¥229.9 billion, down 0.7 percent.

Komeito, the LDP’s partner in the ruling coalition, saw its funds slump 13.9 percent to ¥17.9 billion, ranking third among the parties surveyed.

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan followed with ¥16.4 billion, down 13.7 percent. The weakness reflects slow progress in the recovery of the party’s strength since it fell from power in 2012.

Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), created last year, raised ¥3.6 billion, against ¥2.1 billion earned by the Jisedai no To (Party for Future Generations), also formed last year.

Revenue drops were reported by existing major parties such as the Social Democratic Party, the Seikatsu no To (People’s Life Party) and the Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party).

The total spending by the Japanese political parties and organizations last year stood at ¥223.4 billion, down 4.5 percent.

Among the Cabinet members, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the third-biggest earner with ¥180 million. The top earner was Finance Minister Taro Aso with ¥196 million, followed by the economic revitalization minister, Akira Amari, with ¥181 million.

Abe ranked top among the leaders of major political parties. People’s Life Party head Ichiro Ozawa slipped to the third place with ¥117 million after holding the top slot for two years.

The survey covered political funding reports submitted to the prefectural election boards across Japan by Saturday, as well as those presented to the internal affairs minister, which were disclosed on Nov. 27.

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