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Japan to tighten rules on donations to religious groups

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The probe could lead to a dissolution order, which would cause the church to lose its status as a tax-exempt religious organization, though it could still continue to operate.

Having the tax exempt status as the default is the problem.

To avoid the notions of infringing on religious freedom, get rid of tax exemption for all of these religious organizations.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Kishida’s done. And whoever follows him, too, as long as nothing concrete is done about this cult. Issue? SG and its backing of the DPJ. They’re most displeased with anything remotely restricting freedom of religion. The DPJ has had the LDP’s back for decades now and kicking “religion” out of politics is the last thing they want to hear.

If this continues, I could see a civil war occurring between the Followers of St. Abe of the Moonies and the regular everyday members.

2023 could be an interesting year for the LDP as we know it.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Komeito is not going to like this legislation. They get much of their money from Soka Gakai and if this goes into effect it will really hurt them for fund raising.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Oops! My bad! I should have said SG supports Komeito.

I need coffee….

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Details of the law are under discussion, but it will focus on "banning socially unacceptable and malicious recruitment practices" and "allowing donations to be recalled", Kishida said.

I hope they make it illegal for J.W.'s to come around at 0730 on Saturday and Sunday AM's ringing the door bell and asking if you want to be saved! Oh and please include the Mormon's on bicycles who try to run you down to do the same thing, while they are on their "mission" to save souls and increase the coffers of their cult!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Komeito is not going to like this legislation. They get much of their money from Soka Gakai and if this goes into effect it will really hurt them for fund raising.

Cripes, what generation are you living in? Sokkai Gakkai and Komeito have been officially separated for decades.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Japan to tighten rules on donations to religious groups

The regulation should prevent donations from religious groups

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good, one step in the right direction.

Better yet Cancel the tax-exempt status to all Religious groups, these tax exempts are making these Colts and organizations richer while the followers are getting Poorer.

When was the last time has anyone seen or heard of a Colt, a or any other religious group coming to the aid a starving family or even follower??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That problem is a lot like the US Christians and their fixation to the medieval GOP..

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And how about LDP members soliciting these so-called religious groups for support? It takes two to tango.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry Cults not Colts, lol.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just tax them like the for profit organizations they are.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Shut them down - that goes for the sick Moonies, Scientologists, Aleph, Happy Science (of whom the sicko cult leader claims to be a "supreme being" from Venus), Jehovah - and all cults.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why not also standardize the category for "non-profit legal entity" under law by scrapping altogether the category of religious organisation? Accordingly, tax would be equally levied. It's rather hard to define what is religious and what is not. Traditional Shintoism and new religious offspring have usually no sacred texts, founders or codes while some non-profit groups practice something very religious.

The Unification Church is the worst case, for it is more like a crime syndicate, though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Focus on the Soka Gakkai next.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

These cults are a business and should be taxed like a business.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I understand they're trying to fix something, but if you're going to restrict donations based on what the government supports or doesn't support, it gets a bit dangerous. Why stop at religious donations? Why not control where you can spend your money at all? Why not control what food we can buy to defeat obesity?

I don't support Unification Church, but you need to be careful when the government calls for more control over your beliefs and finances.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

MarkX

Komeito is not going to like this legislation. They get much of their money from Soka Gakai and if this goes into effect it will really hurt them for fund raising.

Except they do not.

The Komeito and the Soka Gakkai have been separate organizations for decades and the Komeito receives no funds from the Soka Gakkai.

The income for the Komeito comes from:

Publications, including a newspaper.

Private donations are limited to ¥1.5 million per year per doner.

The government funds all political parties receive.

The Komeito publishes audited accounts.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Article 20. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.

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

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

According to the Japanese constitution, in effect, the "state" is actually breaking the law, as I see it, as religious organizations are "receiving privileges" from the state, via the tax breaks they receive as being a religious organization.

People here it seems obvious are ignorant of the separation of Komeito and Sokka Gakkai. They officially separated back in 1970 and are both financially independent.

If not belonging to a religious organization is the grounds for being allowed to hold office in Japan, then that too is in effect a human rights violation and violation of the law regarding religious freedom as well.

People CHOOSE to be ignorant of this fact and make knee-jerk reactions, based upon emotions.

There is a HUGE difference between being a member of one of these cults, and receiving campaign funds, or using their position in government to provide influence for the said cult.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hope this includes the pesky christians that hang out outside train stations and harass people. I’m a 100% target because I’m a foreigner.

my partner had a high school friend suddenly contact her begging for money for her Japanese cult. They hadn’t met for over ten years and went for a coffee. It turned out not to be an old friends reunion. My partner felt disgusted and betrayed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As much as I don't like people being forced into making massive donations to any religious group a government law restricting them could also violate the constitution on religious freedom.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Komeito and the Soka Gakkai have been separate organizations for decades and the Komeito receives no funds from the Soka Gakkai.

Cripes, what generation are you living in? Sokkai Gakkai and Komeito have been officially separated for decades.

Really? You really believe that Komeito, whose members are predominantly followers of Soka Gakai don't get any money or support from them. Wow! MAybe they have put out a press release saying they are independant, but there is no way I beleive that!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Are they STILL “pretending to be” doing something about this?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan to tighten rules on donations to religious groups:

Western religious impacts on certain Japanese groups seem remarkable in the past decades. The huge donations help the spread.

Traditional Zen, Buddhism, Shintoism are losing grounds in Japan.

Not a healthy sign at all..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

MarkX

Really? You really believe that Komeito, whose members are predominantly followers of Soka Gakai don't get any money or support from them. Wow! MAybe they have put out a press release saying they are independant, but there is no way I beleive that!

As I posted private donations to Komeito are limited to ¥1.5 million per year per person.

You can read for yourself.

https://www.komei.or.jp/en/faq/

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Really? You really believe that Komeito, whose members are predominantly followers of Soka Gakai don't get any money or support from them. Wow! MAybe they have put out a press release saying they are independant, but there is no way I beleive that!

You really dont know about politics here to make a statement like this. You sound like you make judgements based upon emotion, rather than fact!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yubaru, what is your great insight into politics that you have such vast knowledge of how New Komeito raises its money? Please enlighten us. Also Wallace, it is very nice that Komeito states that they cap the individual donations at 1.5 million, which, first off is a lot of money, and secondly how do we know that they follow these rules? How much is a subscription to their newspaper? I doubt it is the same as getting a monthly subscription to the Asahi Newspaper! Why both of you are so trusting and believing of this party is a bit strange! Unless you have a personal involvement.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As I posted private donations to Komeito are limited to ¥1.5 million per year per person.

As an average salary maker, ¥1.5 Million/year is a lot of cash. For people earning below average in Japan it is huge.

Hopefully Komeito would only be getting such sums from the very wealthy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fighto!

   As I posted private donations to Komeito are limited to ¥1.5 million per year per person.

As an average salary maker, ¥1.5 Million/year is a lot of cash. For people earning below average in Japan it is huge.

Hopefully Komeito would only be getting such sums from the very wealthy.

Other political parties, like the LDP, do not have the donation restriction and you can donate as much as you like and companies, such as the power companies, donate huge sums.

The Komeito donation restriction applies to companies and private individuals.

The LDP does not release audited accounts.

No one is required to make any donations to the Komeito. We usually donate about ¥10,000 per year and buy some publications from time to time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

MarkX

Wallace

it is very nice that Komeito states that they cap the individual donations at 1.5 million, which, first off is a lot of money, and secondly how do we know that they follow these rules?

Because Komeito produces audited accounts. There are plenty of people who would like a scandal or the downfall of Komeito and would take action to do so. They apply their rules which are self-imposed and not a requirement by law.

If they do not follow their rules it could lead to some form of legal action.

You can donate as much as you want to the LDP. I suggest you try donating ¥2 million to the Komeito and see what happens.

How much is a subscription to their newspaper? I doubt it is the same as getting a monthly subscription to the Asahi Newspaper! Why both of you are so trusting and believing of this party is a bit strange! Unless you have a personal involvement.

We have supported Komeito for more than 40 years. You are not required to make a subscription for any media you do not wish to. We do not subscript to the Komei Shimbun.

OPEN QUOTE

November 27 , 2021

On November 26, Komeito Secretary General Keiichi Ishii issued a formal statement following the release of the party’s 2020 annual report on income and expenses. According to the report, Komeito’s income for the year was nearly ¥12.2 billion, a 5.3% year-on-year decline. Earnings primarily came from subscriptions of its organ newspaper Komei Shimbun (¥7.24 billion), followed by the state subsidy for political parties (¥3.03 billion) and ¥1.27 billion from party membership fees.

Annual expenses came out to ¥11.81 billion, which fell by 17.5% year-on-year. Expenses include ¥3.99 billion in operating costs, ¥2.97 billion in organization activity outlays and ¥5.57 billion in expenses to produce its newspaper and other publications.

https://www.komei.or.jp/en/news/detail/20211127_28572

CLOSE QUOTE

Approximately 400,000 (190,000 male; 210,000 female).

Circulation of Komei Shimbun (organ paper)   800,000.

You can read online

https://www.komei.or.jp/en/news/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The article is about rules to tighten donations to religious groups.

The Komeito is a political organization, not a religious one.

The Soka Gakkai has no compulsory donations. The majority of members donate small sums usually at the end of the year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is a reply to Mark's question on Nov 9 | 08:10am JST...

"When was the last time has anyone seen or heard of a Colt, a or any other religious group coming to the aid a starving family or even follower??....

Hi Mark, there is a religious group that has 31 locale congregations in different places in Japan, in fact different places around the world. It is called Church of Christ or Iglesia ni Cristo (tagalog). The religious group provides aid and care to everyone who are in need, this activity is called "Care for Humanity". This activity occurs when unfortunate events strike such as the pandemic, calamities and poverty. To help out, the church gives out basic necessities to the people, or donating goods to food bank, and in some parts of the world, medical and dental assistance are also provided. The church has many districts and locales around the world and this activity is conducted in unity together with the church administration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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