politics

LDP coalition party Komeito approves 8th term for leader

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At Sunday's convention, the party retained Keiichi Ishii, 64, as secretary general and newly picked Yosuke Takagi, 62, as policy chief and Makoto Nishida, 60, as election chief.

Kazuo Kitagawa, 69, and Shigeki Sato, 63, were also retained as chair of the Central Secretariat and Diet affairs chief, respectively.

So many fresh go-getters.

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Komeito, the junior coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Sunday endorsed an eighth term for its leader Natsuo Yamaguchi ahead of a spate of local assembly elections next spring.

I've yet to meet a Japanese who does not consider Komeito as any else but a "faction" of the LDP, albeit an "external" one, reason being that they try to make it look like they keep themselves at arm's length of the LDP...

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8th term...wow, looking forward to all those fresh ideas to start coming out now.

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"I've yet to meet a Japanese who does not consider Komeito as any else but a "faction" of the LDP..."

Really? I've never met a Komeito supporter who would agree with your sweeping (and incorrect) statement. And I've met hundreds of em.

Yamaguchi has been president of Komeito since 2009. Normally, it takes a significant loss of power to create conditions for change, and incidentally, 2009 was the last time Komeito wasn't in the ruling coalition following the election.

But if you really want to see a "president for life", you should look to the party that does such things best: the Communists. There, "Chairman" Kazuo Shii has been calling the shots since...2000. Through loss after loss after loss...he's still there.

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I am a supporter of the Komeito.

I've yet to meet a Japanese who does not consider Komeito as any else but a "faction" of the LDP, albeit an "external" one, reason being that they try to make it look like they keep themselves at arm's length of the LDP...

That statement is so incorrect. No one I know would ever think that.

The majority of Soka Gakkai members vote for the Komeito, but actually not all. Probably, about 80%. There are nonmembers who also vote for the Komeito. Only about 8 million people vote for the Komeito in elections. About 12% of the votes.

There are never any instructions on who to vote for so it's up to the people to decide.

So far I thought it was better for the Komeito to be part of the government to pull back on the more extreme policies. It was the Komeito that made the covid relief money happen.

But after the scandal of the Unification Church time for the Komeito to review their position with the LDP.

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Must say I fully agree with ‘blue’ on this one and I’d wager most long-term foreigners do too.

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This cult used a school friend of my partner to come to our house and ask for money.

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The Soka Gakkai never goes to anyone’s home to ask for money.

Donations are members only at the end of the year.

They donate whatever they want. For 40 years I give ¥5,000.

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The Soka Gakkai never goes to anyone’s home to ask for money.

The majority of Soka Gakkai members vote for the Komeito, but actually not all. Probably, about 80%. There are nonmembers who also vote for the Komeito. Only about 8 million people vote for the Komeito in elections. About 12% of the votes.

I first heard of the Soka Gakkai and of the Unification Church in the 1970s when I was in Japan as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons). All three, along with Tenrikyou, are known as new wave religions in Japan. I rarely heard anything good spoken about any of these new churches except by adherents of each. At the time, Soka Gakkai was strongly associated with both the Komeito political party and Nichiren Shōshū, and had a reputation of really strongly pushing its adherents for money, and for not allowing them to leave the organisation when they became disinterested in its tenets.

But after the scandal of the Unification Church time for the Komeito to review their position with the LDP.

I am strongly of the opinion that the LDP and any other political parties should be completely separate from any religions, churches, or other similar groups including all Shinto and Buddhist organizations . It is difficult for me to consider the Komeito as a party separate from the Soka Gakkai, even though there was a formal separation of the two in 1970.

After the scandal with the Unification Church, both the Komeito and the LDP ought to review their positions with each other. Both can be considered tainted with the odor of the other. There is a reason for the separation of church/religion and state, and Japan, with its history of emperor worship, Shintoism, and Kyoto's Enryakuji militarist monks in past eras, is a perfect example of the problems with the intermingling of church and state.

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Roten

I first heard of the Soka Gakkai and of the Unification Church in the 1970s when I was in Japan as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons). All three, along with Tenrikyou, are known as new wave religions in Japan.

You are incorrect. There was nothing new wave about the Soka Gakkai in the 1970s. It was formed 40 years earlier in 1930. You wear your prejudice on your sleeve.

You were a missionary Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons). Formed a hundred years before Soka Gakkai in 1830.

All religions have donations including yours. I have never been forced to make donations. Only once a year are donations given and it happens at the end of the year.

Soka Gakkai makes its money from its newspaper and publications. Just as the Komeito does too.

I could bring up many issues with your church and the fact that you send missionaries to Japan to seek converts.

With your church, people can even make donations online.

"Tithing funds are always used for the Lord's purposes—to build and maintain temples and meetinghouses, to sustain missionary work, to educate Church members, and to carry on the work of the Lord throughout the world."

Your church demand 10% of income from your members. No such situation exists in Soka Gakkai.

Soka Gakkai International is in 192 countries. We donate large amounts to various UN causes.

There have been many cases of abuse in your church. Including child sexual abuse. There have been many criminal cases.

Put your own house in order first. Has for people who leave your church.

"The LDS Church taught "When individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel, they are in a state of apostasy." In addition, one who goes so far as to deny the Holy Spirit could become a son of perdition and be cast into outer darkness."

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The constitution protects religious freedom which means all people including government ministers can follow whichever religion they choose. Ministers visit the Yasukuni Shrine, as individuals.

There is the separation of state and church. There are no state religions and none receive any government money.

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Interesting how some people seem to think that anyone with whom they disagree is automatically incorrect. Disagreement in discussion doesn't necessarily mean someone is correct and someone is incorrect; both could be incorrect. And, when someone gives a perception, it does not mean that the perception is correct. Blatant labeling of someone as incorrect reflects mostly on the labeler, and shows a lack of tolerance and understanding of multiple points of view. Often it also reflects a refusal to check facts or do basic research.

Blue: I've yet to meet a Japanese who does not consider Komeito as any else but a "faction" of the LDP, albeit an "external" one, reason being that they try to make it look like they keep themselves at arm's length of the LDP...

Wallace: That statement is so incorrect. No one I know would ever think that.

Roten: I first heard of the Soka Gakkai and of the Unification Church in the 1970s when I was in Japan as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons). All three, along with Tenrikyou, are known as new wave religions in Japan.

Wallace: You are incorrect. There was nothing new wave about the Soka Gakkai in the 1970s. It was formed 40 years earlier in 1930. You wear your prejudice on your sleeve.

A bit of research adds light to the intolerance of labeling those with whom one disagrees as "incorrect."

In the above cases, a bit of simple research on Wikipedia would bring clarity to this perception of new wave religions, or  shinkō shūkyō, in Japan. Wikipedia states, and Wikipedia's statement is in line with my understanding, is that "Japanese new religions are new religious movements established in Japan. In Japanese, they are called shinshūkyō (新宗教) or shinkō shūkyō (新興宗教). Japanese scholars classify all religious organizations founded since the middle of the 19th century as "new religions"; thus, the term refers to a great diversity and number of organizations." Wikipedia cites the Agency for Cultural Affairs (文化庁) as a primary source for this information. Wikipedia lists, inter alia, Tenrikyō (1838) and Soka Gakkai (1930) as Japanese new religions. From personal experience I note that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-United States) and Toitsukyō/Unification Church (1954-Korea) are also commonly included in the rubric of 新興宗教 in Japan.

The  Kōmei Seiji Renmei, a forerunner of the Kōmeitō, was founded in January, 1962, when nine independent members of the Diet who were members of the Soka Gakkai, banded together.  Headed by Harashima Kōji, in In the July 1962 elections the new party won nine seats in the House of Councillors. On 17 November 1964 the party was renamed Kōmeitō. It has gone through many iterations and reorganizations since its inception, and the Communist Party newspaper Akahata specifically attacked it in the 1980s by reporting that many Soka Gakkai members were rewarding acquaintances with presents in return for Kōmeitō votes, and that Okinawa residents had changed their addresses to elect Komeito politicians. Later allegations of tax exempt funds being funneled into funding from Soka Gakkai to the Kōmeitō were alleged by an expelled Kōmeitō member of the Tokyo municipal assembly, even though there had been a formal separation of Soka Gakkai and the Kōmeitō in 1970.

So what, one might ask? Is this important in the current discussions of the Unification Church's political contributions to various members of the current Diet? And, do religions contributing to politicians or to political parties constitute problems to the separation of religion and state? Or, is the separation of religion and state confined only to the government (or political parties) contributing to religions?

These are important questions. My opinion is that while members of parliament are free to practice whatever religion they wish, and that they should not have to hide their religious beliefs, and that they should be able to join together in groups similar to the Kōmei Seiji Renmei before it morphed into the Kōmeitō political party. However, religions contributing to politicians or parties; or the government or politicial parties contributing to or supporting religions, opens up the door for corruption, graft, and back-door scandles that can rock governments and democracies.

And when people disagree, calling each other incorrect rather than explaining why one disagrees with another, is not conducive to politicial or social discourse. Intolerance and incivility is part of the cancer that is eating away at the American politicial system today. Let's hope that it can be cured in the United States and in other countries as well. Scandles are corrosive to democracy and good governance. There are reasons for separation of church and state. Democracy is a poor political system; but it is the best system that has been found so far. As attributed to Winston Churchhill, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others."

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it seems you didn’t make any answers to the criticisms of your own church. Again, your knowledge dates back 70 years.

Redstorm, you have correctly noted that I didn't respond to the criticisms made of the church of which I am a member. I see no reason to make this a discussion of religions and their teachings. Mushiro, I am pointing out what happens when voters think that one or more religions have undue influence in national governance. If you wanted to question the influence the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has in the governance of Utah, Arizona, or Idaho, I think we might have something to discuss. I would not defend religious interference in government.

You and Wallace might not consider Soka Gakkai a "New Wave Religion" in Japan. That is your option. However, it falls under that rubric according to the Wikipedia article I quoted; it is not an idea I pulled out of my posterior, and I have no pony in that race. One could argue that Soka Gakkai is not a religion at all, and thus it can't be a new wave religion. I think this would be a silly argument. I heard several people contend that Nitiren was the religion, and Soka Gakkai was not; as many people said that the opposite was the fact. Who am I to tell other people what they believe or not?

As to whether my 'knowledge' dates back 70 years, perhaps I am guilty. I was born in 昭和29. I have only lived in Japan for about 17 years out of the past 46, so I cannot be considered an expert on all things Japanese.

I consider the Seven Day Church to be an alien religion in my country.

Sorry, are you referring to the Seventh Day Adventists? and which country is 'your' country?

Again, the political problems that have arisen surrounding Abe and the LDP are not religious in nature, but are perceptions of religious interference or influence in the national government.

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