On October 4th, the Unification Church announced at its Tokyo headquarters that it will keep records of donations above 30% of individuals' monthly income and make it possible to return the money if requested.
The decision was made in response to a Sept. 30 announcement by a liaison council of government ministries and agencies, which revealed that consultation counters for victims had fielded nearly 1,000 cases relating to financial problems since Sept. 5.
The group, now known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, said during the news conference that it would not cap donations using the 30% benchmark, on the grounds that followers have free will. The head of the group's reform promotion headquarters, Hideyuki Teshigawara, said that Consultations about financial problems should not be brought into the domain of the national government. We are reflecting deeply on our actions. The Unification Church has a reform plan that includes measures to remove excessive donations that would put the followers under pressure, according to a news conference on Sept. 22. Under its latest measure, any donation exceeding 30% of monthly income would be recorded for the source of funds and whether it was agreed upon by the family or not, and a receipt would be issued. The records will be used to check whether donations are imposing a burden on followers and their families.
Since it issued a compliance declaration in 2009, Teshigawara had previously stated that there were no victims of the group's manipulative tactics of spiritual sales. He changed that explanation at the Oct. 4 press conference, saying that it's certain that the number of consultations is getting smaller. The declaration hasn't been spread effectively in some areas.