South Korea-based church has come underneath scrutiny because the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japan’s authorities has introduced it’ll ask a courtroom to revoke the authorized standing of the Unification Church after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination raised questions in regards to the group’s fundraising and recruitment techniques.
Schooling Minister Masahito Moriyama mentioned the ministry proposed searching for the revocation after interviewing 170 individuals allegedly harmed by the church’s fundraising techniques and different issues. The church failed to reply to dozens of questions through the hearings, he mentioned.
If its authorized standing is stripped, the church would lose its tax exemption privilege as a spiritual organisation however can nonetheless function.
A long time of cosy ties between the South Korea-based church and Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Social gathering had been revealed within the investigation of Abe’s 2022 assassination and have triggered public outrage.
The person accused of capturing Abe at a marketing campaign occasion allegedly informed police he was motivated by the previous prime minister’s hyperlinks to the church, which he blamed for bankrupting his household.
The Unification Church, based by Solar Myung Moon, obtained authorized standing as a spiritual organisation in Japan in 1968 amid an anti-communist motion supported by Abe’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi.
The church has confronted tons of of civil lawsuits and acknowledged extreme donations however says the issue has been mitigated for greater than a decade. It just lately pledged additional reforms.
For many years, the church restrained followers’ psychological states to incapacitate their decision-making, making them purchase costly items and donate past their monetary skill, additionally affecting the lives of their households, Moriyama mentioned.
The fundraising techniques triggered concern and confusion and significantly deviated from the regulation on non secular teams, during which the aim of the church buildings’ authorized standing is to provide individuals peace of thoughts, he mentioned.
Moriyama mentioned the ministry will submit its request for a courtroom order as early as Friday. The method might take some time, Japanese media reported.
Because the Nineteen Seventies, the church has been accused of devious enterprise and recruitment techniques, together with brainwashing members into making big donations to Moon and ruining their funds.
Specialists say Japanese followers are requested to pay for sins dedicated by their ancestors throughout Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula, and that almost all of the church’s worldwide funding comes from Japan.
If the courtroom grants the order, the Unification Church can be the primary to lose its authorized standing underneath a civil code violation.
Two earlier instances concerned felony fees – the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, which carried out a sarin nerve gasoline assault on the Tokyo subway, and the Myokakuji group, whose executives had been convicted of fraud.