Japan and Moonies: LDP ties but no sackings by Kishida

Japan and Moonies: LDP ties but no sackings by Kishida

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan and his “do nothing approach” applies to the coronavirus crisis (apart from solely focusing on economics), the Yen to Dollar rate going from 110 to 140s since he took office, and the Moonies (Unification Church) scandal where accountability isn’t forthcoming. Therefore, no sackings, no financial fines, and just papering over the cracks since the brutal murder of former leader Shinzo Abe. 

The murky role of the ruling LDP with the Unification Church is leading to internal displeasure. Thus, it was disenchanting when Kishida couldn’t even pick his new Cabinet with people who had no links to the Unification Church. Hence, the announcement that his new Cabinet, parliamentary vice ministers, and vice ministers are full of people connected to the Unification Church shows his disconnection from ordinary people. 

NHK reports, “Japan’s main ruling Liberal Democratic Party says its in-house survey has found that 179, or nearly half of its Diet members, had some contacts with a religious group previously known as the Unification Church.”

The killer of former leader Shinzo Abe – who linked Abe with the Unification Church concerning past family members – entails that the general public wants action to be taken to clean up the political system. In truth, given the extent of so many senior LDP members with the Unification Church, it is nigh impossible for Kishida to create all new members within the branches of power that don’t have links with this cult that originates from South Korea. However, Kishida’s Cabinet should be free from politicians who are linked to the Unification Church until the findings of a public inquiry. 

Last month, Kyodo News said, “The revelations add to evidence of what could be a deeply ingrained network of contact between ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and the Unification Church. Seven ministers in the revamped Cabinet have also acknowledged their ties of some sort to the group under the renewed spotlight since the assassination of former premier Shinzo Abe.”

In 2006, the Japan Press Weekly reported, “Kajikuri Gentaro, the former director of a Unification Church’s front organization “International Federation for Victory over Communism” said that he worked with Kishi Nobusuke, Abe’s grandfather and former prime minister, to establish an independent Japanese constitution and the enactment of an anti-espionage law. Kajikuri also said that he met Abe.” 

One year before the brutal murder of Abe, the Japan Press Weekly called into question Abe’s moral responsibility. Japan Press Weekly (Sep 2021) reports, “… former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo gave a praising message in a rally hosted online by an organization affiliated with the former Unification Church or so-called Moonies, notorious for its “spiritual sales” of costly goods and “group weddings” which have long been a social issue in Japan… The organization will likely use Abe’s appearance in the event to recruit new believers and advertise their products, leading to the creation of new victims. Abe’s moral responsibility should be called into question.”

The mainstream press in Japan reports that the killer of Abe (Tetsuya Yamagami) was broken mentally by the poverty of his mother – and other areas related to the family breakdown: his mother gave money to the Unification Church in vast sums despite falling into debt. Therefore, with the LDP – and other political parties who have ties to the Unification Church – knowing the economic and mental side of the Unification Church, it is shocking that so many politicians lack moral judgment. 

Modern Tokyo Times said (shortly after the brutal murder of Abe)“America supported the murder of millions of Communists and people deemed the far-left in this period of history. This happened from the bloodbath of Communists in Indonesia with America and United Kingdom ratlines – to Operation Condor in South America and various conflicts in Southern Africa (Angola and Mozambique). Therefore, the ties connecting Kishi and Abe’s father with the Unification Church – could easily have been anti-Communist channels that were potent in Northeast Asia in this period of history (China under Chairman Mao, North Korea, and the Soviet Union).”

Hence, with such a long murky past existing between the ruling LDP and the Unification Church over many decades, a new reinvigorated Cabinet outside the clutches of the Unification Church is essential. However, it seems that Kishida is oblivious to ordinary people. Therefore, he merely seeks to paper over the cracks.

Kishida said, “Politicians must be cautious about having relationships with organizations that society recognizes as problematic.”

Kishida also said, “There are still many people who are concerned and suspicious of strong ties … due to a number of media reports on the matter.”

However, Kishida is seeking to brush the situation under the carpet because no accountability – even if the LDP bans future dealings with the Unification Church. The fact remains that Kishida openly filled senior positions with people connected to the Unification Church after the death of Abe.

Is it good enough that a former leader can be killed in cold blood – while no internal political accountability is forthcoming?

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