Crime & Justice

Japanese defense minister says will review ties with Unification Church

Tokyo, Aug 2 (EFE).- The Japanese Minister of Defense and brother of former President Shinzo Abe, Nobuo Kishi, said Tuesday he will review links with the Unification Church, following criticism over such ties after the assassination of the former leader.

“In light of the social issues that have surfaced, I need to thoroughly review the ties I’ve had until now,” Kishi said at a press conference.

The defense minister and younger brother of Abe previously admitted having received the help of volunteers from the Unification Church in election campaigns, which in his opinion was not a problem, since it was not an organizational support.

Tetsuya Yamagami, who is believed to have assassinated Abe on Jun.8, confessed to the authorities that his motivation for committing the attack was the politician’s connections to the controversial Church, which caused problems in his family.

The suspect originally planned to attack leaders of this organization but eventually chose to target Abe after seeing a video message sent by the former prime minister in support of a group affiliated with the Unification Church.

The general secretary of the LDP, Toshimitsu Motegi, said Tuesday in another press conference that there is “no systematic connection” between his party and the religious organization.

Opposition parties have been calling for an in-depth investigation to shed light on the links between the Church and the ruling party.

Founded in Seoul in 1954, the Unification Church has a vast global business network, established foundations to foster global dialog supported by leading politicians around the world, and has been branded a cult by critics. EFE


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