Japanese officials are preparing to assert their legal authority to question the group, formerly known as the Unification Church.
The move is permitted under a law adopted in the wake of a cult-ordered sarin gas attack on Tokyo subways in 1995. It could potentially lead to the group being stripped of its standing as a religious corporation.
A panel of religious experts and academics approved questions drafted by the education and culture ministry. Sources say they probe controversial practices. Officials reportedly aim to ask the group about a raft of civil lawsuits alleging financial coercion.
The head of Japan's religious affairs division says the ministry will also ask for reports on the group's assets, accounting, and management. It will also search for evidence of potential negligence.
Ishizaki Hiroaki, the head of the division said, "If there is enough evidence, the ministry will, of course, ask a court to order the group be disbanded."
Before a court can issue an order to disband a religious group, it must hear from both the religious group and the ministry.


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