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The Japanese government decided Friday to investigate the Unification Church, with a view to requesting that a court consider stripping the controversial organization of its status as a religious corporation with tax benefits.
The decision was announced by culture minister Keiko Nagaoka, who explained that the Unification Church has been ordered to pay damages of at least 1.4 billion yen in 22 civil lawsuits.
Nagaoka said the group is worthy of investigation under the Religious Corporations Law as it is “suspected of wielding great influence and inflicting widespread damage” — one of the conditions agreed on by an expert panel.
The Cultural Affairs Agency plans to formulate questions to be put to the religious group before officially starting the investigation.
The Unification Church was founded by a staunch anti-communist in South Korea in 1954.
The group, now formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is notorious for “spiritual sales,” in which it pressures people to buy vases and other items at exorbitant prices through the use of threats.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, whose approval ratings have been struggling due partly to his handling of the issue of the Unification Church’s influence, has instructed the culture minister to begin a probe into the organization.
The prime minister has also said that the government will revise laws related to consumer contracts in an attempt to assist victims of the church and related bills will be submitted during the ongoing parliamentary session through December.
The Cultural Affairs Agency has asked the expert panel to set conditions for the questioning in order to avoid the impression that it is arbitrarily targeting the Unification Church and infringing on religious freedom.
The Unification Church would still be able to operate if it were deprived of its status as a religious corporation.
Join the leaders of English Education for Children in Japan!
… but it is the Japanese Government who is and was a member of the cult. And they are going to investigate what they already have been a huge part of? Me thinks we need a third party to investigate.
The Japanese government decided Friday to investigate the Unification Church, with a view to requesting that a court consider stripping the controversial organization of its status as a religious corporation with tax benefits.
I was under the impression the investigation had already begun.
I suppose that was the “eyeing, with a look toward, exploratory meetings about” stage.
First order of business: How long do we have to pretend to be investigating the UC before this passes out of headlines and we can quietly conclude there were some “irregularities”, have some apologies and bows and vows, and go back to business as usual?
Remember, none of this would have happened, and many people would continue to be swindled if not for the drastic actions of Tetsuya Yamagami.
Ahhh, after giving them and the LDP members plenty of time to burn their docs, throw out photos and destroy evidence of corruption, you announce in the news that the very political group that they infiltrated and have members in, will be investigated by the same groups government??
What a joke.
Without the protection of their LDP Godfather their racket is being crushed.
Why the **** do so many countries give “churches” tax exemption if they are being run like businesses?
Gov’t decides to investigate Unification Church
This coming on the heels of a month ago when we discovered that more than half of the ruling party were in bed with these muppets???
The extent to which the gov looks down on the intellect of the public NEVER ceases to amaze me.
The LDP receives massive donations from private business companies.
The Unification Church would still be able to operate if it were deprived of its status as a religious corporation.
Just like AUM, when it morphed itself into Adelph. All they will lose in reality is their tax breaks, which in my opinion ALL religious organizations should have removed.
What do they provide to the people, other than a place to practice their “faith” and donate their hard earned cash in the belief that someone by giving them money they will find peace, if not now, in their belief of the after life?
Before my father-in-law died, he had a cousin who pushed him into believing (long story short) that if he joined this one religious cult, they would cure him of cancer. BUT, he had to (cough,cough,cough) make a donation to the cult, so they could put an “altar” in the house, and then pay extra money for a “special” glass, that when filled with their “holy water” which he would drink from, three times a day, would cure him. The glass cost something like ¥15,000, the holy water, like ¥2,000 per bottle, and the paper sutras, he had to pay something like ¥5,000 once a week for anything to “really” work. They even generously “offered” to take care of his funeral and all expenses, if he let them take all the “koden” (funeral money) and if he turned over his estate. All in the name of his “life after death” and getting “cured” of cancer.
They prey on the weakest and neediest in the community.
Fortunately for us, my wife, myself, and the rest of the family, interceded and my father-in-law was fleeced for around ¥500,000 to ¥1,000,000 or so. It was a relative who was the cause so at first no one thought anything about it.
My father-in-law passed away from literally have a buildup of mold in one of his lungs, and complications from cancer as well.
I literally returned the altar and all the other junk to the cults HUGE meeting place, and people there had apoplexy when I did. They literally ran after me, trying to get me to take it back. (This is a literal summarization of a much longer and convoluted episode relating how these cults are devil incarnate!)
Is amazing how 1 man drastic action could lead to such huge changes. The only regret is that no one from the church will ever go to jail for causing so many damages to so many families.
The number of donations to the UC by members is unknown as are the amounts.
They’re pussyfooting around this entire issue because the government themselves have ties with the church. Let’s see how far this “investigation” actually goes.
The Unification Church is Christianity at its worst. The government should order it to disband.
“”The Cultural Affairs Agency has asked the expert panel to set conditions for the questioning in order to avoid the impression that it is arbitrarily targeting the Unification Church and infringing on religious freedom.””
Glad see the agency taking the appropriate steps to put an end to this SCAM.
The government should order it to disband.
It can’t, at least not with the current laws. If the government can’t order the yakuza to disband, how do you think they can with religious cults?
“”The decision was announced by culture minister Keiko Nagaoka, who explained that the Unification Church has been ordered to pay damages of at least 1.4 billion yen in 22 civil lawsuits.””
They will NOT pay, they will file for Bankruptcy and walk away for a while.
They will NOT pay, they will file for Bankruptcy and walk away for a while.
I think something like that has happened before hence the name change.
https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14686350
In Oct the UC stated it would keep records of members donating more than 30% of their monthly incomes and provide a system to reclaim the donations but it would not stop the donations citing the free will of the members to donate.
Only a full independent judge led public inquiry would come some way to investigate the manner in which this cult has corrupted society, democratic government.
In what form would this inquiry take place, a tribunal hearing?
The proceedings, clarity of facts, published terms of reference?
Evidence gathering and reporting?
This Cult has alleged influence reaching into the heart of Government.
Can the public be sure that culture, practices of parliamentarians, ethics of democracy be sacrosanct?
This cult has it toxic roots in politics not religion.    
What branch of government will establish the facts?
Can the electorate truly be persuaded that perpetrators or vested interests won’t deliberately attempt to conceal incriminating facts?
The Japanese government decided Friday to investigate the Unification Church, with a view to requesting that a court consider stripping the controversial organization of its status as a religious corporation with tax benefits.
Nagaoka said the group is worthy of investigation under the Religious Corporations Law as it is “suspected of wielding great influence and inflicting widespread damage”
What a farce! If they are going to investigate the Unification Church then lets call a spade a spade and investigate Soka Gakkai and how it has been alleged to have swindled individuals and families out of money not to mention it’s political activities and huge involvement in elections through it’s political arm, Komeito. But do you think the Cultural Affairs Agency plans to formulate questions for Soka Gakkai, not a chance as long as Komeito is Jimintō’s coalition partner!
The Unification Church is Christianity at its worst. 
Except it’s not Christianity, but a syncretic hodge podge melange of Eastern mysticism which preys on gullible types who are thick on the ground in this part of the world.
Dave Fair
investigate Soka Gakkai and how it has been alleged to have swindled individuals and families out of money .
What evidence do you have a single word is true?
not to mention it’s political activities and huge involvement in elections through it’s political arm, Komeito.
For many decades the Komeito and the SG have been separate organizations. The Komeito receives zero funding from the SG.
But do you think the Cultural Affairs Agency plans to formulate questions for Soka Gakkai, not a chance as long as Komeito is Jimintō’s coalition partner!
The Soke Gakkai is a religious organization, not a political one.
Again, none of it is illegal, is just perhaps might be looking into internally increasing tax revenue in the future.
Wait a little longer until everybody forgets. But before Abe’s one year anniversary.
HiroNov. 12 08:17 am JST
Is amazing how 1 man drastic action could lead to such huge changes. The only regret is that no one from the church will ever go to jail for causing so many damages to so many families.
No one from the LDP will go to prison either, for turning a blind eye and accepting the “church”‘s support while they caused all that damage.
If someone higher up in the cult you belonged to asked you that you buy a vase for an exorbitant price, saying it would exorcise the karma from you that your ancestors had committed, would that cult still be considered a religious group rather than an imposter? Suppose, as a cult member, you believed all that had been told?
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