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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 July 27 - August 2  > It is unacceptable for LDP to deny accountability for its murky ties with Moonies
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2022 July 27 - August 2 [POLITICS]

It is unacceptable for LDP to deny accountability for its murky ties with Moonies

July 29, 2022
Akahata editorial

The fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has exposed the cozy ties of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party with the "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification", formerly the Unification Church (Moonies). To uncover the truth behind such links will be a focal issue in the coming Diet session. Several ministers of the Kishida Cabinet have admitted that they received the Moonies’ support for their election campaigns and that they gave speeches at Unification Church-affiliated organizations’ events. In addition, it has come to light that many LDP lawmakers appeared in Moonies-related publications. The Unification Church is criticized as an antisocial cult with its wide range of consumer crimes, such as “spiritual sales” of exorbitantly priced goods. The full clarification of the murky relationship between the cult and the LDP is a political necessity. It is unacceptable for the LDP to deny responsibility and fail to investigate this issue by saying, “The party itself has nothing to do with the Moonies (LDP Secretary General Motegi Toshimitsu).”

No remorse while admitting link to Moonies

Among Kishida Cabinet members, those who admitted to their relationship with the Moonies are Education Minister Suematsu Shinsuke, National Public Safety Commission Chair Ninoyu Satoshi, and Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo. Suematsu on July 22 made public the purchase by a Moonies-related organization of his fund-raising party ticket. Four days later, Ninoyu said that in 2018, he gave a speech as chair of the organizing committee of a Moonies-hosted event in Kyoto. On the same day, Kishi, who is a younger brother of ex-PM Abe, stated that he has a relationship with the Moonies and gained their support for his election campaign. However, these three ministers showed no remorse and took a so-what attitude by saying, “My relation with the Moonies is within the bounds of common sense (Suematsu),” “It is normal for politicians to connect with various people (Ninoyu),” and “In order to win an election, I accept anyone who lends a helping hand (Kishi).”

It has also been revealed that Inoue Yoshiyuki, one of former PM Abe’s aides during Abe’s first stint, is a “supporting member” of the Unification Church and won the latest House of Councilors election with help from the Moonies.

Sitting Lower House Speaker Hosoda Hiroyuki (LDP) was invited to a Moonies-related event in 2019 and delivered a speech there. Since 2014 alone, interviews and speeches of more than 80 LDP national and local legislators have appeared in the media affiliated with the "International Federation for Victory over Communism", an integral group of the Moonies, according to Akahata on July 27. There is no doubt that the LDP and the Moonies are deeply and widely connected with a give-and-take relationship.

It is necessary to reveal the details leading to the Cultural Affairs Agency approving the name change of the Moonies in 2015 from the "Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity" to the "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification". The Cultural Agency administers the religious corporation system.

The Moonies since around 1997 had sought to change their formal name. The agency had for many years turned down their request for the name change because their substance had not changed at all. However, in 2015 under the Abe government, the agency approved their name change. The Cultural Agency is part of the Education Ministry whose minister at that time was Shimomura Hakubun, an aide to PM Abe. Reportedly, Shimomura received financial donations from a Moonies-related organization and appeared in a related newspaper article as well. He denied his involvement in their name change, but the agency is keeping silent about what led to the approval of their name change. It is suspected that the agency was politically pressured. The name change is considered an opportunity for the Moonies to further prey on consumers. Therefore, how their name change became possible must be brought to light.

Full-fledged Q-and-A session needed in Diet

The Moonies became active in Japan in 1967. Sharing the same anti-communism ideology with the Moonies, Kishi Nobusuke, the prime minister at that time who was a grandfather of ex-PM Abe, supported their activities in Japan and used their manpower in election campaigns. The Moonies dispatched their members as Dietmembers' secretaries to the LDP. The Moonies and the LDP have the same goal - constitutional revision. Whether the LDP can cut its connection with the Moonies is a pressing challenge for Japanese democracy. An extraordinary Diet session will commence on August 3. The Diet should uncover the truth behind the murky ties between the Moonies and the LDP.
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