Japanese media said that 106 Japanese parliamentarians are related to the “Unification Church”, nearly 80% belong to the Liberal Democratic Party | Unification | Japan | Liberal Democratic Party

Original title: Japanese media said 106 Japanese parliamentarians were related to the “Unification Church”, and nearly 80% belonged to the Liberal Democratic Party

  [文/观察者网 刘程辉]According to a survey released by Kyodo News on August 13, more than 100 of the 712 Japanese MPs who participated in the survey were associated with the controversial “Unification Church”, and nearly 8 of them became members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Previously, Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the Japanese branch of the “Unification Church”, admitted that he had contact with members of the Liberal Democratic Party, and the church encouraged members to “actively participate in national politics and participate in elections.” Kyodo News commented that this once again revealed “the fact that the church has widely penetrated into the political world with the Liberal Democratic Party as the center.”

Kyodo News reports: Survey shows that more than 100 Japanese lawmakers are associated with the “Unification Church”

The response rate of this questionnaire survey exceeded 80%, and Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party, did not answer the questionnaire. The survey asked about the relationship between councillors and the church and its friendly groups and related groups, and specifically asked about donations and the purchase of (political funds) rally tickets, support for election activities, attendance at events, and sending congratulatory messages. answered in the affirmative.

Among them, there are 2 members of parliament who answered that they have accepted political donations (political donations), namely Shimomura Hirofumi, the former chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Yuichiro Tamaki, the leader of the National Democratic Party. They both accepted donations through the “World Journal” in 2016. There were 13 members of parliament who answered that the church had purchased their own assembly tickets. Among them, former Minister of Education, Ministry of Education and Science Sue Matsushiro said that the total purchase amount from 2020 to 2021 will be 80,000 yen (about 4,042 yuan).

The survey also found that 30 people benefited from electoral support provided by church-related agencies such as telephone canvassing. 71 people attended the event they sponsored and 43 admitted to having sent them a message.

Overall, 106 of the 712 people who participated in the survey admitted to being affiliated with the Unification Church, either participating in activities sponsored by the Unification Church or receiving church support in elections. It is worth noting that 82 of the 106 people are from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, accounting for nearly 80%, highlighting the close ties between Japan’s main ruling party and the church.

The rest of the members who are related to the church are: 11 members of the Japan Restoration Association, 7 members of the Cadets, 1 member of the Komeito Party, 1 member of the National Democratic Party, 1 member of the participating political parties, and 3 members of no party affiliation.

Some lawmakers in the survey defended their actions by saying it was only part of their communications with many entities, or that they themselves were motivated by supporters to attend church events. Still others said they would reexamine their relationship with the church.

Affected by the shooting death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the relationship between Kishida cabinet members and other Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and the “Unification Church” has been exposed one after another, which is considered to be one of the reasons for the decline in the support rate of the Kishida cabinet. Kishida has vowed to investigate the relationship between all MPs in the Liberal Democratic Party and the “Unification Church”, and make appropriate adjustments to the positions of those with connections.

However, after the list of Japan’s new cabinet was announced on the 10th, there were still 7 cabinet members and 20 deputy ministers and government officials who were revealed to be related to the “unification religion”. In this investigation, only 12 deputy ministers and government officials admitted to being associated with the church.

For now, the Unification Church declined to comment on the findings.

It is worth mentioning that on August 10, Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of the Japanese branch of the “Unification Church”, held an emergency press conference in Tokyo and apologized to the public for the first time after Abe was assassinated. He also admitted that the group encourages members to “actively participate in national politics and electoral activities”, but stressed that it has not developed a relationship with a specific political party.

Tomoaki Iwai, professor emeritus of political science at Nihon University, said the fact that about one-seventh of Japan’s MPs have ties to the Unification Church shows that they have failed to take adequate risk management measures.

“They lack the qualities of a statesman,” Iwai said.

This article is an exclusive manuscript of Observer.com and may not be reproduced without authorization.

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