Cabinet Ministers Admit Contact with Unification Church

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Cabinet Ministers Admit Contact with Unification Church

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi has acknowledged contact with the Unification Church, confirming a meeting with individuals affiliated with the controversial religious group in September 2021. The meeting reportedly took place at Hayashi's office in Yamaguchi Prefecture and involved members of a group associated with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the current name of the Unification Church. Hayashi stated that the meeting was arranged through local political contacts and that he could not recall the specific attendees or topics discussed.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has also addressed the issue in response to questions raised during a Diet session. Kishida confirmed that he had heard of Hayashi's meeting but emphasized that his Cabinet has no known ties to the Unification Church. He noted that he had verified with his ministers that they have not received endorsements, donations, or other forms of support from the group or its affiliates during elections.

However, during the same session, Education Minister Masahito Moriyama admitted to signing an agreement with an organization affiliated with the Unification Church in 2021. The organization reportedly endorsed Moriyama in that year's Lower House election, in which he successfully secured a seat. Despite this disclosure, Prime Minister Kishida has declined calls for Moriyama's resignation.