Shinto religion long entangled with Japan's politics – and Shinzo Abe was associated with many of its groups

By Kaitlyn Ugoretz

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While the Shukan weeklies and digital platforms have analyzed - to a degree - such stories, you won't be seeing them gracing the front pages of Media Inc.

Meaning that most of LDPs supporters will remain in the dark.

Sure, they'll pick up bits 'n pieces here and there, but will either have no interest in deeper analysis or dismiss it as fake news.

The article confirms that huge danger lies in an essentially single party rule for 6+ decades.

There's never been a broom swept through to clear the dust and cobwebs.

Such cleanings are an essential part of Democracy.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Soooo much corruption and shadowy dealings within the LDP and with Abe in particular. I just hope that his death sheds a little more light into the checkered practices of the LDP and gives the public pause to think and contemplate if they really want such a sordid bunch leading their country.

But I'm not holding my breath..

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I increasingly get the sad feeling that Japan will (yet again) miss out having its "aha!" moment when it comes to religion, politics, far-right nonsense, collusion, corruption, I-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine, etc, etc.

Abe, his family, his party were all in bed with religions. Cults have their own political parties. These days, I also have actually been wondering about where the opposition stands on this?

Is there any guarantee that they aren't in bed with some local/regional/national or foreign cult as well? TBH, no, I don't think there is any guarantee either. It is also striking that they all seem to remain pretty silent about the whole issue. (It may be to avoid being too confrontational now that Abe is dead, but still...I may have missed it, but radio silence seem to be total around the issue...with just a few headlines in main media and mostly tabloids going after that one...)

Here (again) a piece on the Constitution and religions:

Article 20:

Sec.1 Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.

This one is going to be a can of worms with the Komeito and Happy Science-parties, the links to Shinto (Nippon Kaigi) and now the coziness with the Moonies, etc.

If politicians and parties let cults roam free, there has to be a payback for them in it, ain't it! What are cults receiving and what do they reward back?

Sec.2 No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.

This one is problematic when it comes to offerings and visits to shrines (hello Yasukuni Jinja) in politicians' official capacity (which can actually be evidenced as they generally sign off in their capacity as cabinet members! Yup, not much shame here, I'm afraid!)

Sec.3 The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

Don't remember the details of Abe's "beautiful country"-thingy, but it would be very surprising if nothing in it would conflict with that one...Not mentioning Nippon Kaigi's nonsense which pretty much conflicts with everything on this list...

Article 89: No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or for any charitable, educational or benevolent enterprises not under the control of public authority.

Again, how far in bed are politicians and parties into cults. I would be more than surprised if no public money whatsoever would find its way into cult treasury!

Religion needs to be weeded out from J-politics, but not holding my breath...

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You really would have to be purposely stupid, not to realize Shinto and the LDP have an a-gender. Both want a return to 1930. One for total political control the other for income. Supported by the same 5 companies and families that have dominated japans business political landscape for over 70 years. They want more they always want more.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

One very clear thing that becomes clear is that the close relationship of some (most?) politicians with various religious groups have absolutely nothing to do with spiritual matters, there is a reason why these relatioships are never discovered with groups that hold zero political or economical power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Really? The article uses a segue from the assassination in which the assassin was angry at the Unification Church, a Korean export that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Shinto! Shinto is like Christianity in the West—it is the “native” religion in a syncretist society in which Buddhism and Shintoism coexist and always have (as does Christianity since 1868). Yes, Shintoism was used by the Meiji and then the military governments to foment nationalism, but then Western leaders have used Christianity the same way. What the$%^&*( does Shintoism have to do with Abe’s assassination? Absolutely nothing!


E.S. Krauss

Prof. Emeritus


0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kamikaze,Devine Wind

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@ES Krauss - yes you certainly are correct in noting how religion has been used by regimes - world wide in fact - to control/coerce the masses. Nothing new there.

And also you are correct in stating that Shinto and Abe's death have no direct correlation. His killer has attested, apparently, that it was a personal grudge.

However there are similarities in the way that 20th/21st Shinto has been appropriated by right-wing politicians/believers to further their nationalistic causes esp anti-leftist, and the manner of the Unification Church in espousing similar philosophies.

In addition Abe (and family) have direct links to Shinto associations that also share good communion with the UC.

And we're talking about Politicized Shinto here - not the indigenous animistic, spirit, ancestor worship belief system that arose 1000 years ago.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Shinto isn't a religion !

Its a philosophy !

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