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July 27, 2022

Unification Church’s Reach in Politics Coming Under Scrutiny

Recent media disclosures indicate that many politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties have ties with the Unification Church, which former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassin accused of bankrupting his mother and destroying his family. The church’s reach in politics has long been considered a taboo that few political scientists and journalists discussed publicly.

“Religious groups provide politicians with supporters who never free-ride nor betray,” Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times. But because “the average Japanese voter is sceptical of cult religions. . . politicians want to keep relations with religions under the table,” prompting religious groups to “disguise themselves as political groups,” such as the Japanese arm of the International Federation for Victory Over Communism.

“Japan’s politicians admit to ties with Unification Church after Abe’s death,” Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japans-politicians-admit-to-ties-with-unification-church-after-abes-death

Profile of Research Director Sota Kato
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=29

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