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Japan’s lower house speaker under fire for links with controversial religious group

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 The chief of Japan s lower house of parliament came under fire on Thursday for admitting he had links to the controversial Unification Church religious organisation Hiroyuki Hosoda a veteran ruling Liberal Democratic Party LDP lawmaker and speaker of the House of Representatives admitted in a statement that he had given two speeches and appeared in two meetings held by the Unification Church or related groups In the statement Hosoda said he attended such gatherings on four occasions in 2018 and 2019 and that he was interviewed by a related group in 2019 local media reported Hosoda also said a group with connections to the Unification Church had offered to support him in his previous election campaigns The group is based in his constituency in Shimane Prefecture western Japan His admission drew flak from opposition parties with Kazuo Shii head of the Japanese Communist Party lambasting and calling on him to step down as speaker of the lower house if he could not explain his links to the church The church is often referred to as a cult in parliament If he cannot do that he should immediately step down as lower house speaker Shii said The ruling LDP headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is already under pressure to explain its connections to the church known for coercing massive amounts of money from its followers in return for spiritual or karmic benefits Earlier this month an internal probe by the LDP revealed about half of the LDP s lawmakers had ties with the controversial organisation formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Kishida is now expected to be cross examined by opposition parties over the matter in an extraordinary parliamentary session convened for Monday amid waning public support for the LDP according to recent polls The latest revelation said the LDP and the Unification Church come amid mounting concerns by opposition parties and the public that the dubious religious organisation has been seeking to influence politics in Japan by deepening its ties with the LDP NewsSourceCredit NAN
Japan’s lower house speaker under fire for links with controversial religious group

Unification Church

The chief of Japan’s lower house of parliament came under fire on Thursday for admitting he had links to the controversial Unification Church religious organisation.

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Hiroyuki Hosoda

Hiroyuki Hosoda, a veteran ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker and speaker of the House of Representatives, admitted in a statement that he had given two speeches and appeared in two meetings held by the Unification Church or related groups.

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In the statement, Hosoda said he attended such gatherings on four occasions in 2018 and 2019 and that he was interviewed by a related group in 2019, local media reported.

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Unification Church

Hosoda also said a group with connections to the Unification Church had offered to support him in his previous election campaigns.

Shimane Prefecture

The group is based in his constituency in Shimane Prefecture, western Japan.

Kazuo Shii

His admission drew flak from opposition parties, with Kazuo Shii, head of the Japanese Communist Party, lambasting and calling on him to step down as speaker of the lower house if he could not explain his links to the church.

The church is often referred to as a cult in parliament.

“If he cannot do that, he should immediately step down as lower house speaker,” Shii said.

Prime Minister

The ruling LDP, headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is already under pressure to explain its connections to the church, known for coercing massive amounts of money from its followers in return for “spiritual” or “karmic” benefits.

Family Federation for World Peace and Unification

Earlier this month, an internal probe by the LDP revealed about half of the LDP’s lawmakers had ties with the controversial organisation, formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Kishida is now expected to be cross-examined by opposition parties over the matter in an extraordinary parliamentary session convened for Monday, amid waning public support for the LDP, according to recent polls.

Unification Church

The latest revelation said the LDP and the Unification Church come amid mounting concerns by opposition parties and the public that the dubious religious organisation has been seeking to influence politics in Japan by deepening its ties with the LDP.

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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