On November 22, 2022, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology sent a document to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church), requesting a report on organizational management, on income and expenses and on the ownership of the company by 9 December. announced that it had exercised its “right to ask questions” based on It is the first time since the provision was adopted in 1996 that the right to ask questions has been exercised. Since this is the first time, the media will also report it.
Discomfort with flow
In response to a 21 Religious Corporation Council report stating that it was “appropriate” to exercise the “right to question” the former Unification Church, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, of Science and Technology Keiko Nagaoka said, “I will issue a notice to the former Unification Church.
In addition, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Nagaoka, said, “We are requesting reports on regulatory documents related to the organizational management of companies, documents related to income and expenditure of assets and accounting books. “.
“Organisation and operation” is needed to represent the organization such as an organizational chart, officer regulations, board meeting minutes, etc. Regarding “income and expenses and assets,” the policy is to require the presentation of documents demonstrating the flow of money, such as income and expense statements and donation receipts.
As a former administrative officer, I feel a little uneasy with this series of events.
First, the “right to ask questions” was granted to the government 26 years ago, triggered by the Aum Shinrikyo scandal. The specific text is article 78-2 of the law on religious corporations, which allows you to request reports and ask questions about the effective management of religious corporations if they are suspected of violating the law.
Although it is similar to the right of questioning that the administration generally has, it is a more careful procedure, such as that after consulting the council of religious corporations.
Why hasn’t it been practiced for 26 years?
My unease stems from the question of why it hasn’t been exercised for 26 years. Legislative change is a request from the legislative branch to the executive branch. why did you ignore it?
After the law was amended and promulgated, the head of the relevant section and the former deputy minister of education said they did not accept the change of name of the religious body. Not accepting it is a violation of administrative procedures, and the right to question should have been accepted and exercised.
This time I will exercise my right to ask questions, so I would like you to clarify the issue of the former Unification Church’s overseas remittances. A large amount of donations were raised in Japan, but most of them were sent overseas. Religious corporations prepare real estate inventories and income and expense reports, and if you follow them carefully you should be able to grasp the real situation of remittances from abroad. If so, it’s easy to check if it’s based on the Foreign Exchange Act, so let the public know.
And finally, whether the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology can apply to the court for a dissolution order. In this case, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology could submit a request as soon as possible and entrust it to the court. The public will be more satisfied with this than if the Ministry of Education continues to do so.
++ Profile of Yoichi Takahashi
Yoichi Takahashi Former Cabinet Secretariat Adviser, Former Cabinet Adviser, Current Chair of Policy Studio
Born in 1955. In 1980 he joined the Ministry of Finance and since 2006 he has also been a Cabinet Counselor. In 2007, he drew attention when he pointed to so-called “buried gold.” Retired in 2008. Professor at Kaetsu University since 2010. Adviser to the Cabinet Secretariat (in charge of economic and fiscal policy) since 2008. he Resigned at the age of 21. Among his publications Farewell to the Ministry of Finance!