Japanese PM mulls launching investigation into Unification Church

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is mulling launching an investigation into the Unification Church which has come under fire, ever since the assassination of former PM Shinzo Abe. 

Reportedly, Kisida is expected to table the proposal on Monday during a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. Notably, the change in attitude from Kishida comes in the backdrop of his approval rating taking a deep dive in recent months for failing to address the issue. 

As reported by WION, in September, Kishida’s support fell to 32.3 per cent from 44.3 per cent a month before, according to the survey by Jiji news agency conducted at the weekend 

The ‘Unification Church’ has become Kishida’s Achilles heel and it only became more grave when a man set himself on fire in protest of the state funeral. 

Critics in Japan have called the church a cult that exercises tremendous sway over politicians especially the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). 

A recent survey found that half of LDP lawmakers have ties with the group in terms of receiving political support or donations, or attending events. 

WATCH | Unification Church in Japan accepts it took huge donation from Shinzo Abe shooting suspect’s mother

Abe’s assassin is believed to have resented the sect over massive donations his mother made to the church, leaving the family bankrupt. 

The organisation, which was started in South Korea in the 1950s by self-declared messiah Sun Myung Moon and is well-known for its mass weddings, has come under fire for its fundraising practises and other problems. Such ideas are rejected by the church, which asserts that it is a valid religious movement.

Read more: Unification Church in Japan pledges donation reforms after Shinzo Abe’s assassination

(With inputs from agencies)

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