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A look at the Unification Church's ties to Japan's politics

72 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Anyone can tell who previously owned the land that Unification Church's Tokyo headquarters is standing now?

https://fortune.com/2022/07/11/japan-unification-church-shinzo-abe/

22 ( +22 / -0 )

A 2018 deep dive into the long and grim history of the Unification Church, with a stack of very interesting links to follow:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/neo-moonies-the-bizarre-story-behind-the-ar-15-church-ceremony/238432/

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Anyone can tell who previously owned the land that Unification Church's Tokyo headquarters is standing now?

According to this article the land and building on it was owned by the actress Takamine Mieko

https://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/45140

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Not just that quasi religious organism, there are many others with equally dubious ties to the ruling party the focus on the unification church is diverting attention from the others who have an equally and similar sordid involvement with the LDP.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

This just gets better as the days pass. LDP and the Moonies? You couldn't write this plot, it's just too unbelievable. I wonder if the government i.e. LDP will put a stopper on it.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Abe was known for his arch-conservative views on security and history issues and also was backed by powerful lobbies such as the Nippon Kaigi. He appeared in events organized by church affiliates, including one in September 2021.

If there is a political party devoted to ending NHK fees, there should be a bigger one devoted to removing the tax exempt status of these religious organizations that defraud the public and wield significant malicious political influence with their shadowy funding.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

Police and Japanese media have suggested that the alleged attacker, Tetsuya Yamagami, who was arrested on the spot, was furious about Abe's reported ties to the Unification Church, which has pursued relationships with politically conservative groups and leaders in the United States, Japan and Europe. The suspect reportedly was upset because his mother’s massive donations to the church bankrupted the family.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. I don't believe this version of accounts at all. It doesn't make any sense.

In a news conference Monday after the church's connection to Abe's assassination was revealed, the church's leader in Japan, Tomohiro Tanaka, said Abe supported UPF's peace movement but that he was not a member.

He wasn't even a member, but even if he was, why would the assassin go after him and not after Tomohiro Tanaka? Isn't HE the church leader in Japan? Didn't Yamagami's mother give the money to the church headed by Tanaka? Why go after Abe and not Tanaka? It makes no sense whatsoever.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

By 'church leader' Yamagami meant the actual church leader Hak Ja Han, widow of Sun Myung Moon.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Aly Rustom

Why go after Abe and not Tanaka? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Read this

https://fortune.com/2022/07/11/japan-unification-church-shinzo-abe/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Alfie Noakes

According to this article the land and building on it was owned by the actress Takamine Mieko

https://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/45140

How about according to this one

https://fortune.com/2022/07/11/japan-unification-church-shinzo-abe/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There should be a full investigation of the murder and why it happened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aly Rustom

Why go after Abe and not Tanaka? It makes no sense whatsoever.

Read this

https://fortune.com/2022/07/11/japan-unification-church-shinzo-abe/

I did. It doesn't answer my question. Even if it is proven that Abe had ties with the group it still doesn't answer the question why go after Abe and not the ACTUAL leader of the group who bankrupted the family

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

It's become apparent that the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was motivated by the assassin's mistaken belief that Abe was responsible for his mother and the family's bankruptcy by closely associated with the Unification Church.

The Kishida government, meanwhile, announced that Abe's national funeral will be held in September, saying Abe held the longest administration in Japanese politics, that he was gunned down while campaigning and that condolences for his death have come from hordes of dignitaries home and abroad.

There's cons and pros about the national funeral in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hak Ja Han visited Nagoya in 2017. There was an event attended by 40,000 people.

Yamagami was unable to enter, not being a member of the group.

the assassin's mistaken belief that Abe was responsible for his mother and the family's bankruptcy

The assassin was correct in believing that Abe helped to give legitimacy to the group.

Abe ignored requests by a group of lawyers to consider the victims of the group and to cease his supportive activities.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Abe supporters are now desparately trying to play down the former PM's ties with the Unification Church.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

 Why go after Abe and not the ACTUAL leader of the group who bankrupted the family

As the other posters noted, Yamagami once attempted in vain to attack the church leader upon a Japan visit in 2017. He then planned to visit South Korea to fulfill the killing mission, only to get aborted due to the pandemic and travel restrictions. Finally He switched to target Abe.

More details will come to the light as the enquiries go on. I think that Yamagishi took a very rare opportunity to fulfill his mission owing to a very unusual security mishap and sudden schedule change for the election campaign. Nara was not supposed to be the venue assigned for Abe until the previous day of his assassination.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As the other posters noted, Yamagami once attempted in vain to attack the church leader upon a Japan visit in 2017. He then planned to visit South Korea to fulfill the killing mission, only to get aborted due to the pandemic and travel restrictions. Finally He switched to target Abe.

fair enough, but my question is about Tanaka- the head of the Japanese faction and probably the one directly responsible for the bankruptcy not the guy living in SK. His mother was dealing with Tanaka. No mention of him going after Tanaka at all and I'm just curious why

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

An excellent article by Mari Yamaguchi. Hoping there will be more revelations about Japan's right-wing ties to the Unification Church.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Good. Squeeze out all pus if there really are illegal ties between them. Oppositions now have one theme to attack LDP and do it between Komeito&Souka-Gakkai too . Although not religious group, do it between cross-party lawmakers and Chongryon/Mindan too

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Unification Church is a South Korean virus spreading all over Japan, taking advantage of Japanese citizens by taking all the money and resources they have!

The Unification Church is directly linked to PM Abe assassination! How are they still open?? How are they still allowed to operate???

If South Korean PM Was killed by a group connected to Japan== Fire and Fury from the Koreans!! Mass protest in the streets!! Japanese would have to hide or leave South Korea! Fact

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Many news shows of Japan still avoid even to feature historical connection between ruling party LDP and Unification Church.

Japanese famous TV commentators who always justify Abe are trying to deny connection between Unification Church and LDP or Abe everyday desperately.

Unification Church who deeply "connect" to politics, It's no wonder if they have influence to inside major media.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

To quote William-hazlitt, The garb of religion is the best cloak for power.

Is not at the very least conceivable, the very heart and soul of Japans ruling government has not been colluding with in every respect a cult? Moonies

Moon, stated when a teenager, he was visited by Jesus to command Moon on a mission, a pilgrimage for humanity to be returned to “sinless” purity.

What or who are the J electorate actually voting for?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This article is a good start, but nowhere near the full story.

I hope these articles break the seal and more details come out about exactly what the Unification Church was and still is. It's important for the public to know this isn't just about a link between the UC, the Kishi / Abe family and the LDP - as scandalous as that is. It's also about what the UC was during this relationship, and the amount of nefarious activities it was directly involved in around the world, including coups, genocide, arms trafficking, arming militia groups etc. This is who the LDP were in bed with and all because they wanted power.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A wild guess - search links between the Moonies and the CIA. Just sayin... Who controlled Japan when Moon and his Moonies first appeared? Indeed, who still controls Japan?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

“the Korean Peninsula, which has been split between the totalitarian North and democratic South.”

The South was a totalitarian state at the very least between 1961 and 1988.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Not just Japan. The whole world needs to come down on this (and other) cult religions.

"Throughout his life, Moon worked to transform his church into a worldwide religious movement and expand its business and charitable activities. Moon was convicted of tax evasion in 1982 and served a prison term in New York. He died in 2012.

The church has developed relations with conservative world leaders including U.S. presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and more recently Donald Trump.

Moon also had ties with North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, the late grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un."

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-07-14/explainer-the-unification-churchs-ties-to-japans-politics

1 ( +7 / -6 )

To see such a piece written on JT speaks volumes in of itself!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

How about publishing a list of of the members of this Moonie Cult?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

RodneyToday  10:42 am JST

How about publishing a list of of the members of this Moonie Cult?

From where? The Church?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Paul_BarbaraToday  10:21 am JST

A wild guess - search links between the Moonies and the CIA. Just sayin... Who controlled Japan when Moon and his Moonies first appeared? Indeed, who still controls Japan?

Bingo- [According to a U.S. House Investigating subcommittee report,[17] the Unification Church was established by director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Kim Chong Pil as a political tool. Its members have founded, owned, and supported other related organizations, including business,[18] educational,[19] political,[20] and other types of organizations.[21]

[ In 1997, Congressman Donald Fraser launched an investigation into Moon's cult. The 444-page Congressional report alleged Moonie involvement with bribery, bank fraud, illegal kickbacks, and arms sales. The report revealed that Moon's 20,000-member Unification Church was a creation of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). The Moonies were working with KCIA Director Kim Chong Phil as a political instrument to influence U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. CIA was the agency primarily responsible for founding the KCIA after WW II. ]

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It there not a full debate to be had ,that MP's should not resister there affiliations to these sects, cults, political lobby groups Nippon Kaigi, Freemasonry, United Grand Lodge. etc

Does it not follow, in the public interest, if Diet member/PM have links or affiliations to these controversial groups before constituents vote?

I believe the public have a right to know!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Many Japanese have been surprised as revelations emerged this week of the ties between the church and Japan's top leaders

Not my very well read and well informed husband. He has always known this. It's the Japanese who rely on Japanese TV for all their information. Like my late mother-in-law. When my husband would try to inform his mother on such topics she would usually ask, 'Did you see that on TV?'

6 ( +8 / -2 )

blue- thanks for that INCREDIBLE post!

amazing brother!

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This fake "Church" - is a Significant party to a Murder, and should be held account accordingly.

It should have no place within Japanese Politics or otherwise within Japan, period.

Make it so Kishida san.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe praised its work toward peace on the Korean Peninsula and the group's focus on family values. An emphasis on traditional, paternalistic family systems was one of Abe's key positions.

I feel this stuff too often gets overlooked in discussions about Abe and the LDP’s obsession with amending the Constitution. The war renouncing Article 9 is just a small part of that yet it gets almost all the attention. Way more concerning to me is the vision of Japanese society itself that these guys want to enshrine in it. Its basically one in which individual rights are eroded or taken away altogether and everyone is subjected to a pre war style social order under paternalistic rule. Its genuinely scary stuff, yet it barely gets any attention.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Uh-oh

them cans of worms are opening now

everyone knew Abe was a crook, they just didn’t want to admit it. Or maybe they just didn’t know with who…….

oh well, this should be some long ride.

tee-hee

0 ( +8 / -8 )

This fake “Church”

Do you know any genuine ones?

I don’t agree with banning religions. All we can do is educate people better.

I do agree with keeping all religions out of politics. They are corrosive.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Just remember it takes two to tango. If the church is suddenly revealed to be some evil organization, what does that say about those who worked with them?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Kinda makes ya wonder if the unification church was really anti communism .

Mass hypnosis

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Abe san had only a weak and shallow relationship with the unification church. Just like with other religious organizations.... politicians looking for votes and financial support.

Moreover, of you look at the real numbers of the so called Unification church, it has only very few members....they don't even reach 1,000 members in Japan probably.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Perhaps Abe's death is the perfect opportunity for Japan to rid itself of all the parasites and turn over a new leaf.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abe knew how the church operated in Japan and he must have known of their funding activities.

The NPA would most certainly keep tabs on such groups especially after Aum’s actions.

So, the bureaucracy of Japan and the PM’s office certainly knew of the group and how they operated.

Japanese people were the victims!

Certainly, some of the victims were LDP voters.

The farmer knowingly let the fox into the hen house….

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Now we see why this was blocked prior to the election. If this stuff had come out before it might have been a different outcome with not as many sympathy votes.

Not sure they were entirely wrong to call it out as an attack on democracy. It sure seems the "democracy" of Japan is full of lies and deceit and needs to be attacked.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

*The assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has unearthed long-suspected, little-talked-of links between him and a religious group that started in South Korea but has spread its influence around the world.*

Yeah, just like in every other country, the egregious corruption enriching the ruling elites is a place the MSM fear to tread. What a disgrace and disservice to the idea of a democracy! Kishi discovered as soon as he was released from prison in 1948 by the anti-communist American occupiers that religious cults can supply money and votes. For Kishi money, not religion, was the "opium" a politician could use. Ironically, Kishi's "opium" was the toxic cocktail that ended Abe's mission to make his grandfather's dream of making Japan a powerful military force in the world come true.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Moreover if you look at the real numbers

They don't even reach 1000 members in Japan probably

Well..ahem..excuse me for pointing out that if in actual fact you were looking at the real numbers you wouldn't be assuming there's 1000 members in Japan probably.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From the article: "WHAT WAS ABE'S LINK TO THE [Unification] CHURCH? Abe was known for his arch-conservative views on security and history issues and also was backed by powerful lobbies such as the Nippon Kaigi. He appeared in events organized by church affiliates, including one in September 2021."

This shows the alleged assassin's singularity of purpose in allegedly killing Abe. It was his second choice when the primary target was unavailable. Yet, I do not believe it was strictly a political assassination but a personal vendetta against the organization that allegedly bankrupted his family. Was the alleged killer insane the time of his deed? I my view, I do not believe the alleged killed was insane--that is not knowing right from wrong--but I believe he had lost his reason. He was adept at making guns but was not adept in seeing that killing a perceived enemy was wrong.

The suspect does not strike me as a failure like Lee Harvey Oswald. It is likely he would have gone on to live a normal life had his mother not fallen into bankruptcy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

akurasukiToday 08:13 am JST

@Alfie Noakes

According to this article the land and building on it was owned by the actress Takamine Mieko

https://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/45140

How about according to this one

https://fortune.com/2022/07/11/japan-unification-church-shinzo-abe/

Thanks for the link. It's kind of Fortune to remind us that the "insular traditions" of the Kisha Club "have fueled a frenzy of rumors and conspiracy theories" as they always do.

According to this link and the Gendai Business article, both Kishi and the UC were renting from Takamine Mieko, who died in 1990. Kishi and his family lived there while he was PM, and the UC moved in later:

https://twitter.com/B4Btv/status/1547413538163298304

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe was known for his arch-conservative views on security and history issues ...

Perhaps. But the author of this article, and all of us, do not know what lay in Abe's heart.

As far as his actions, Abe was a pragmatic nationalist.

In Japanese security, he supported dumping Art. Nine and cooperating with allied foreign powers -- the US and shared allies -- to promote Japan's interests and defense. Arch-conservatives are unilateral with national security, distrust entangling alliances and aim for maximal autarky. The emphasis on independence is what puts the "arch" in arch-conservative.

Re: history: Abe was a conservative. "Arch-conservatives" don't flip-flop on the WWI Korean sex-slaves. On Japanese aggression/advancement. They deny it now. They deny it forever. Abe denied it, then admitted it, then denied it, then regretted it, then denied it and finally admitted/regretted/denied it. Abe was all things to all men. About the sex slaves. About his grandparents aggression. About much of everything.

Abe personified Japanese conservatism: pragmatic nationalism.

Very typical of the LDP. Which is why he led it and Japan longer than anyone else.

Mori. Now there was an arch-conservative....

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Free-lance journalists are pointing that right-wing ruling party LDP's politics has many similarities to doctrine of Unification Church.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As far as the Abe and the LDP's links with the Moonies: People correctly id the Unification Church's as a cult and a scam. Because it is both.

Now, cults and religions are to me pretty much the same. Both assert fantastic claims and demand fealty to those assertions -- not merely in the absence of reasonable supporting evidence but often in contradiction to what we all know to be empirically sound and rationally defensible. What's more, both cults and religions preach as virtue the suspension capacity for reason and the embracing of our emotional impulses.

Y'know, faith. Belief in absence of good cause.

So what is the difference between a cult and religion? Some say time. 150 years ago, Mormons were a cult. Some say the absence of a charismatic leader.

I say election, seclusion and ostracism.

If you are part of a religion -- as understood as any spiritual or supernatural belief system -- that is super, super, special so that only the speical have access to super special ____, and you are secluded from interacting with anyone not part of your group and you are ostracized if you refuse to bow to the will of the (leadership/leader) of the group because you socialize with others...

Congrats, you're in a cult.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Jean,

(Form the poster formerly known as Dananator)

It's been a long time. Good to see you here and I trust you are doing well.

Hm. Sussing out intent is a tricky business. Even for those intimate with a case. Let alone we, the hoi palloi,

I prefer to stick with facts and sound assumptions. This we know:

For the past 50 years, Japan has been a "safety-county". Access to politicians has been quite easy. That is to say, it was only a matter of time that a politician would be gotten to.

Another thing: why Abe? Why would some conspiracy target Abe?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No mystery about it: With their tax-free status, religions are enormous receptacles of money, which attract politicians like flies to a turd.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Religious affiliation includes 88.9 million Shinto followers (48.6 percent), 84.8 million Buddhists (46.3 percent), 1.9 million Christians (1 percent), and 7.4 million adherents of other religious groups (4 percent).

2020 Report on International Religious Freedom: Japan

https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-report-on-international-religious-freedom/japan/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wallace@ I've seen other data in which the Jinja Honcho claims all 126 million Japanese are Shinto believers (merely by virtue of their being Japanese). Most religions here exaggerate the number of their believers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NCIS Reruns

the linked report is from the State Dept. America. Well researched and reliable I think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

""A survey of 128 lawmakers obtained from police and published in the Shukan Gendai magazine in 1999 showed most attended events organized by the Unification Church's anti-communism affiliate, the International Federation for Victory Over Communism, also funded by Moon, and more than 20 LDP lawmakers had at least one church member in their offices as a volunteer.""

I am shocked to read this, scary as hell. at least one church member in their office as a SPY?? unbelievable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You don't need JUSUS and a church to unify Korea, mass weddings with mind controlled followers, 10% of their salary at minimum as donations, Jesus has NOTHING to do with is mess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good and informative article but didn't miss the chance to somehow relate this whole thing to the alphabet soup agenda.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Even if you are cynical, it's hard not to be floored by what the revelations about Abe's connection to the UC may mean. If the UC despite its declared anti-communism was nevertheless also trying to cultivate ties with the North Korean regime, I suppose one can conclude the following:

When North Korean agents began kidnapping Japanese citizens from the shores of their own country in the 1970s, either the LDP leaders who governed Japan then (and this at the time meant people like Abe's father and grandfather--the latter was a member of the House of Representatives until his retirement in 1979) were too stupid and incompetent to realize what was happening, or they knew exactly what was happening but chose not to publicly raise the issue so as to avoid potentially offending the Unification Church leaders whose political support they needed.

I've long viewed the LDP as a non-ideological party whose members really care about only one thing--staying in power no matter what. Anti-communist? Give me a break. Look at how quickly Japan under LDP rule moved to establish ties with mainland China in 1972 after Nixon's visit. Total capitulation to the demands of Japanese business interests then and in the half-century since. Those Japanese abducted by North Koreans and their relatives never, ever should have come to view Abe as their champion. It turns out the whole basis of Abe's meteoric political rise after 2002 was basically a sham.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“the Korean Peninsula, which has been split between the totalitarian North and democratic South.”

The South was a totalitarian state at the very least between 1961 and 1988.

Please understand, communism is very dangerous, sort of like covid or Canadian truckers. I'm sure leftists can understand why suspension of due process is sometimes necessary for the sake of the greater good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether or not Abe had ties to that church why that moron had to kill him??..

Abe was not guilty for the mistakes of the killer's family..

If that stupid had problems it was with the church, he would have sought out the leader of the Japan branch of that ridiculous sect..

Well, It is again demonstrated that politics and religion cause a disastrous mix..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An excerpt from James Madison's speech to the Virginia Legislature "A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments"

*"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."*

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I always wonder what the act of believing is. The mother donated the cult group a hundred of millions of yen believing she was doing a really good thing. But her donations lead to the family’s downfall and bankruptcy. So, from the perspectives of a social norm, the mother’s act was unpardonable.

This can happen not only between cults and their followers, but also between mainstream religions and their followers for newly adopted religions often deny traditional social norms and mores: indigenous culture, that is.

Then, was Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu’s prohibition and persecution of Christians permissible to preserve Japan as it was? I really don’t know.

I take Mao Tse-tong's cultural revolution in a similar vein.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is an extremely dangerous situation when large organizations are created under the cover of supposed religious communities, but their main target is to raise financial contributions from their members, they are money worshippers, their divinity is gold, not God.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Religious freedom is under attack by atheist/secular leftists and globalists, who ultimately see all religions as cults that run counter to marxist policies--unless they support the real, pseudo religion---One-world-ism.

Sokagakkai today, is about votes, not reaching enlightenment as taught by Nichiren

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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