A #JapanPolitics thread: The assassination of former Prime Minister Abe has led to greater attention to the controversial relationship between conservative Japanese politicians and religious groups, particularly the Unification Church. Let's look at what is being reported... 1/ ImageImage
2/ This is an offshoot of my older thread, which was more focused on media treatment of the assassination. This thread will be more focused on political news, but I recommend you check out the older thread, particularly from post #29 onwards.
3/ To briefly summarize from the last thread: Japan's Liberal Democratic Party has a decades-long history of ties to the Unification Church, which provides volunteers and voters for conservative politicians. Abe was one of them, but light is being shed on other politicians too. Image
4/ For example, Nikkai Gendai, a tabloid magazine that has been at the forefront of reporting on the UC-LDP connection, has noted ties between the Church and 112 politicians, including former Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers.
5/ A common response to these media reports has been for the politicians in question to claim either ignorance about the nature of UC and UC-affiliate groups and/or memory loss about their engagement with those groups. For example, Inada Tomomi's response:
6/ Maybe some politicians just don't vet groups that they ask for support. But it is highly unlikely that Inada Tomomi, who has been involved in right-wing politics from a young age, would have been ignorant of the Unification Church and its engagement with the Japanese right.
7/ Inada's father, Tsubakihara Yasuo, was a prominent right-wing activist who, as this report in Aera notes, was involved in just about every conservative activist campaign in the Kansai region. dot.asahi.com/wa/20180606000…
8/ Back in Fukui, Inada's home prefecture, the governor has also been called out by the media for his ties to the Unification Church. He also apparently could not remember the details about that relationship:
9/ The ties also extend to city level politics. For example Toyama city mayor Fujii Hirohisa has admitted to seeking electoral support from the Unification Church. He too has claimed ignorance about the nature of the UC and its affiliate organizations.
10/ At the national level, LDP lawmaker and Abe faction member Inoue Yoshiyuki has become the easiest target for media criticism about ties to the UC. He was caught on tape giving an anti-LGBT speech to at a UC event during the recent election campaign.
11/ There have also been media reports about ties between the UC and Shimomura Hakubun, one of the top lawmakers within the Abe faction. He involved himself with the UC-affiliated WFWP and received donations from UC-affiliated media. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/b09b5…
12/ The same article mentioned several other Abe faction politicians who involved themselves with UC-affiliated organizations: Hagiuda Kōichi, Inoue Shinji, Katō Katsunobu, Takatori Shūichi, Okuno Shinsuke, and Ueno Michiko. (plus a non-Abe faction LDP lawmaker, Ōoka Toshitaka)
13/ Shimomura Hakubun served as Education/Culture Minister in the Third Abe Cabinet. During his term the UC legally changed its name in Japan, with permission from his government ministry. He has denied any involvement in the decision: newsdig.tbs.co.jp/articles/-/102…
14/ The Church has denied officially supporting certain parties or candidates. Media reports are questioning this claim. For example, here is an 7/22 Asahi TV report about UC members receiving texts asking them to vote for certain LDP candidates. Image
15/ Ties to the UC are not limited to the LDP. That Asahi TV report also mentioned that Ishin no Kai lawmaker Adachi Yasushi spoke at a 2018 event of the Institute for Global Strategy, a UC-affiliated organization. Adachi has denied knowledge of its religious affliation.
16/ The article I linked in post #11 also names Matsuki Kenkō as a lawmaker involved with the UC-affiliated WFWP. He is currently one of the more conservative members of the CDP, but he was in another party at the time of his involvement with the WFWP.
17/ Two opposition parties have announced that they will be making efforts to investigate the UC's involvement in politics - the Communist Party and the CDP. They will no doubt be trying hard to find information that embarrasses the LDP. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/cf8a0…
18/ The Communist Party's newspaper, Akahata (Red Flag), is already known for reporting details about the LDP-UC relationship. It was the first Japanese media outlet to report on Abe Shinzo's 2021 speech to a UC event. jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik21/… The video: ImageImage
19/ A more recent Akahata story (7/20/22) interviewed a former bureaucrat who said that the UC applied for a name change in the 1990s but its request was rejected. It is suggested that the approval in 2015 may have been due to political pressure. jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik22/…
20/ Former CDP lawmaker Arita Yoshifu, who spent many years as a journalist investigating the UC, has said that some television networks are now reluctant to report details about the relationship between the LDP and the UC. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/aa035…
21/ Arita has spoken about the LDP-UC relationship on Asahi TV and Nihon TV, but believes a lack of reporting on this important issue from other TV networks and media outlets could be the result of political pressure or "sontaku". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sontaku
22/ Before moving on to more recent news, here is an interesting excerpt from an academic book that discusses historical ties between the Unification Church, businessman Sasakawa Ryoichi, Japan's criminal underworld, and politicians such as Kishi Nobusuke. Image
23/ More one the Unification Church's ties to local politicians in Toyama: Governor Nitta Hachiro has admitted he sought election support of from the UC and he was grateful, but says he did not meet or talk with them after winning.
24/ The same report interviews a Toyama prefectural assemblyman, Hienae Seikichi, who admits he received support from the UC and a position in a UC-affiliated organization, but only because their views happened to harmonize with his pre-existing policy views.
25/ Osaka Ishin no Kai leader Yoshimura Hirofumi has declared that his party will be investigating any links between members and the UC, saying that some may have not known that certain groups they interacted with were UC affiliates. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/aed66…
26/ From Akahata: The LDP's Hosoda Hiroyuki, Speaker of the House of Representatives since 2021, delivered a congratulatory speech at UC event celebrating a visit by Church leader Hak Ja Han. jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik22/…
27/ At the time, Hosoda was head of the Abe faction within the Diet while Abe was serving as Prime Minister. Hosoda told the audience that he looked forward to telling Abe about what he'd seen and heard at the event. (会議の内容を安倍総理にさっそく報告したいと考えております)
28/ The pamphlet for the event listed other speeches from LDP lawmaker Harada Yoshiaki, former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and US Congressman "Adam Biggs" (who looks just like GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, of the House Freedom Caucus). ipeacetv.com/data/board_en/… Image
29/ Education Minister and Abe faction member Suematsu Shinsuke has admitted that the UC bought tickets for his political fundraising party, but has denied that there was anything untoward about it. He also sent messages to UC events. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/d9f3f…
30/ Here is an 18 minute MBS TV interview with Arita Yoshifu. He discusses the importance of free labor UC members provide to politicians: handing out fliers, phone banking, vote distribution, and working as secretaries. Image
31/ Arita also mentioned the importance of the Church's front organizations that are not overtly religious, such as the WFWP. Having famous guest speakers at front organization events helps attract people who can later be recruited into the religion.
32/ Front organizations even manage to dupe the media. The Fukuoka branches of Japan's 4 major broadcast networks promoted this "SDGs Innovation 2021" event without realizing it was organized by a UC group (YSP Fukuoka). news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/b98d9… Image
33/ This TBS news program that aired on July 22nd has a panel of experts discussing the Unification Church's history in Japan and its involvement in Japanese politics. One hour of excellent content: Image
34/ About 6 minutes into the video they mention how the UC denies telling its followers to vote for any specific candidates and produce an internal UC document from 2013 telling believers to vote for an LDP candidate. The name of the candidate is blacked-out. Image
35/ There may have been legal reasons for TBS to not name the candidate mentioned in the leaked document. Journalist Suzuki Eito has shared the uncensored version. The politician in question was Yamatani Eriko, a member of the LDP's Abe faction.
36/ A news article from today about Aichi Governor Ōmura Hideaki (LDP) sending a congratulatory message to a UC event in 2019. The content of the message was changed by the UC to add praise their leader. He complained afterwards, and they apologized. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/d9cac…
37/ A new article from Nikkan Gendai: Working with journalist Suzuki Eito they have prepared this list of 35 lawmakers in the LPD's Abe faction with ties to the Unification Church, mostly through participation in UC-affiliated groups' events. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/3e1e4…
38/ This video of news caster Yoshikawa Miyoko factually incorrect statement about JCP investigating the UC now as a political "performance" has drawn official protests from the JCP. Their investigations go back decades. jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik22/…
39/ An English language article from Kyodo summarizing some recent developments: "Unification Church ties to lawmakers emerges as major political issue in Japan" -It mentions UC ties to LDP, DPP, and Ishin no Kai. mainichi.jp/english/articl…
40/ An English language article about #36 in this thread - "Aichi gov. says Unification Church tampered with telegram to fake praise of leader" - The extra praise was fake, but the congratulatory message was real. mainichi.jp/english/articl…
41/ An Asahi TV report on UC support for LDP lawmaker Kitamura Tsuneo (Abe faction): a former staffer says he sought the church's support and there was UC volunteer campaign staff. Suzuki Eito provided video of Kitamura speaking to a crowd of UC members.
42/ This video from NTV's 7/24 episode of Bankisha explains the role of UC in LDP campaigns: they approach very conservative politicians (such as Abe faction members) and offer experienced and committed campaign volunteers. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/1063b… Image
43/ The Bankisha video also explains that while it is legal for religious groups to support political candidates, the UC still denies officially supporting any party or candidate. This may be because the LDP candidates don't want to be associated with the UC's bad reputation.
44/ The Fukuoka City government gave awards in 2016 and 2020 to Kyudai CARP, a student group known for cosplaying and picking up litter around the Kyushu University campus. The city is now rescinding the awards because it was a UC-affiliated organization. news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/62c45… Image
45/ A follow-up to #40: Here's Aichi governor Ōmura Hideaki going before cameras to convince people he was just a victim of the UC. They may have altered his message, but he was still sending a congratulatory message to their event.
36/ A new video from NTV starts with 2019 footage of UC leader Hak Ja Han telling an audience that politics and religion must become one under her leadership, followed by Hosoda Hiroyuki coming up on stage and praising her. (see #26, 27 of this thread)
47/ The same video includes an interview with a former Unification Church believer who shows texts she received in 2019 asking her to vote for an LDP candidate who will "support Abe." It is blurred out, but similar images online show Kitamura Tsuneo (from #41). ImageImage
48/ This TBS program that aired on Saturday also had a former believer share election texts received from a Church representative, saying to vote for Kitamura Tsuneo in 2019 and Inoue Yoshiyuki in 2022. (hat tip to @aishiterutokyo) cu.tbs.co.jp/episode/20093_… ImageImage
49/ More news from Toyama City: A leader of a UC affiliate organization was invited multiple times to give anti-LGBT "lectures" at meetings of LDP city council members. newsdig.tbs.co.jp/articles/tut/1…
50/ It is being reported that Fukushima Governor Uchibori Masao (Independent) gave a speech to a Unification Church group during his 2018 reelection campaign. Their source says no donations were made, and he did not meet with them after the election. kahoku.news/articles/20220…
51/ TBS news has uploaded this report, drawing on materials provided by Suzuki Eito, about a "World Peace" Lawmakers Association. It includes this damning photo of LDP politicians posing with the leader of a UC-affiliate organization. Image
52/ The report included this wonderful graphic, showing 9 lawmakers from the photo who confirmed their participation in the group, 9 who answered that they could not yet confirm and were checking about it, 1 who refused to answer, and 1 who could not be contacted. Image
53/ 5 of the 20 LDP lawmakers in the photo are from the Abe faction: Fujiwara Takashi, Seki Yoshihiro, Tabata Hiroaki, Okuno Shinsuke, and Miyajima Yoshifumi. At least 6 other LDP factions are represented in the photo, so this isn't just an Abe faction thing. Let's name names...
54/ In no particular order: Nakamura Hiroyuki, Kudō Shōzō, Saitō Hiroaki, Harada Yoshiaki, Yagi Tetsuya, Kamiyama Saichi, Ueno Kenichirō, Kaneko Masuo, Hosoda Hiroyuki, Matsumoto Fumiaki, Itō Yoshitaka, Yanagimoto Takuji, Aisawa Ichirō, Mihara Asahiko, and Minorikawa Nobuhide
55/ For reference, here is Suzuki Eito's list in Japanese, with the names of each lawmaker in the order of how they are lined up in the photo. First the back row, then the front row.
56/ Levi McLaughlin, one of the world's leading experts on the Soka Gakkai religious movement and its participation in politics, has posted this highly informative thread on the social and political impact of recent events - a must-read:
57/ Akahata reports that former Ginowan mayor Sakima Atsushi, who is planning to run as the LDP-backed candidate in September's Okinawa governor race, was among a group of politicians who attended a 2019 UC event as "peace ambassadors." jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik22/…
58/ From Fuji TV: Abe's brother, Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo sought support from the UC, used UC campaign volunteers, and sees no problem with it. Also: National Public Safety Commission chairman Ninoyu Satoshi participated in UC events in 2018.
59/ The Mainichi has an English language article about Kishi Nobuo: mainichi.jp/english/articl…
60/ Unification Church claims its members face death threats over Abe's death: "Ahn Ho-yeol, head of the public relations department of the Unification Church in Korea, pointed to anti-Korean far-rightists in Japan as the ones behind the death threats." koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/202…
61/ Fashion model Ikeda Miyu entering the conversation on politicians' claims of unknowingly endorsing UC groups. If she isn't familiar with a company, she won't endorse its products until checking the details. Endorsing bad products could hurt her fans. daily.co.jp/gossip/2022/07…
62/ Here is an excellent thread from @writerofscratch translating the news story I briefly mentioned in post #49 of this thread:
63/ An NTV video report begins with 2017 footage of former State Minister of Defense Yamamoto Tomohiro praising "Mother Moon" at a UC event and giving her flowers. He thanks the UC for the great amount of support they are giving the LDP. Image
64/ Also in that video: LDP lawmaker Kudō Shōzō at a 2019 event praising the church and its leader. Now that his relationship with the church has been reported in the media, Kudō is "seriously evaluating" whether he will cooperate with the church in the future.
65/ The same 2019 event included a blessing ceremony for married couples. Aichi prefectural assemblyman Amano Masaki (DPP) and his wife appeared on stage in wedding attire to thank and praise Hak Ja Han. Amano released a statement yesterday trying to distance himself from the UC.
66/ New video from TBS: National Public Safety Commission chairman Ninoyu Satoshi, who oversees Japan's police forces, admits he participated in UC-affiliated events but claims he only "lent" them his name because he thought they were promoting peace.
67/ Documents and photos show that Ninoyu's connections to the church were more than just lending his name for one "peace" event. The video also shows LDP lawmakers Isozaki Yoshihiko and Hirai Takuya participating in UC "peace" events.
68/ A report from NTV on the 2015 UC name change approval that took place under Shimomura Hakubun (#13 in this thread): An opposition lawmaker who requested copies of documents about the decision received them...with all relevant information blacked out. ImageImage
69/ Shimomura continues to deny involving himself in the bureaucratic decision to allow the UC to change its name. The report notes that he received a 60,000 yen donation a year later from the UC's newspaper and appeared 3 times on the cover of UC magazines prior to 2015. Image
70/ A new TBS video featuring Suzuki Eito with a photo of 6 lawmakers who attended a 2017 event in America hosted by the UC's Washington Times newspaper. It is suggested that airfare was paid for by the hosts.
71/ Then-serving lawmakers in the photo: Yamamoto Tomohiro*, Anami Yōichi, Minorikawa Nobuhide*, Takemoto Naokazu, Takeda Ryōta*, and Suzuki Katsumasa. (those marked with * are currently still serving as lawmakers)
72/ Their visit to America took place during the period when the UC's “Peace Starts With Me” event was being held at New York's Madison Square Garden, and the UC apparently said that lawmakers from the Washington event also participated in the New York event.
73/ A video of the 2017 Madison Square Garden event is available on Vimeo. At around the 2 minute and 30 second mark, the delegation of Japanese lawmakers is briefly shown: vimeo.com/225726727
74/ An NTV newscaster expressing disbelief about lawmakers' explanations about unknowingly or knowingly attending UC events:「議員たちはなぜ、どんな団体か調べることをしなかったのか。それとも知っていて出席していたのか。やはり納得がいきません」
75/ The Shiga Prefectural government says it supported a "Peace Partnership" event last December without realizing that it was a UC-affiliated event. While admitting this mistake, they claim the event was not used for religious recruitment. nordot.app/92549610674629…
76/ The Okinawa Times reports that Okinawa Gov. Tamaki Denny attended a Korean Residents Union (Mindan) event in 2020 and photos of the event were shared on a UC website. Mindan is not a UC front group, and Tamaki denies any relationship with the UC. okinawatimes.co.jp/articles/-/999…
77/ TBS has uploaded a full one hour news program about the UC and its connection to politics. About the 5 minute mark they display a chart of about 50 national and local politicians with confirmed ties to the Unification Church.
78/ From Hokkaido's HTB TV: Date Chūichi (LDP), who served as President of the Upper House until his retirement in 2019, has said that Abe Shinzo played a role in the distribution of UC member votes to candidates who needed a boost in election races.... htb.co.jp/news/archives_… Image
79/ Date says he asked Abe to get UC support for his preferred candidate in the 2016 election, but Abe refused his request and UC support was instead distributed to Inoue Yoshiyuki (from #10 in this thread). Date's candidate then dropped out of the race. Image
80/ Date's story sounds very similar to what LDP lawmaker Aoyama Shigeharu has already said about an unnamed LDP faction leader making decisions about the distribution of UC member votes in each election.
81/ Some opponents of the LDP and Abe have taken to describing the LDP government as under the "control" of the Unification Church. However, the information available so far points to UC voters not being numerous enough to help more than one candidate win in the national PR vote.
82/ A correction of the years in post #78/79: Date asked Abe for the UC's support for his candidate's reelection in 2022 and was refused. Date's candidate was elected in 2016 with that support, but dropped out in 2022 when Inoue got it instead.
83/ Another local politician who participated in a UC-affiliated event: Higashi Osaka city mayor Noda Yoshikazu admits he spoke at the event in 2019, claims ignorance of its religious connections, and says he will be more careful in the future.
84/ A city council member that is a member of Komeito, a party backed by the Soka Gakkai religion, also participated in that Osaka event. Komeito leadership has warned about cooperating with groups like the UC that have an "antisocial" reputation:
85/ A video getting a lot of attention on twitter today: LDP General Council Chairman Fukuda Tatsuo telling the press that he "doesn't understand what's all the fuss" about politicians' ties to the Unification Church.
86/ Fukuda's remarks were delivered within the context of a denial that the Unification Church exercises significant influence over the LDP or has control of its politics and policies.
87/ Courrier Japon has an article up this morning about international researchers who have written about the politicization of Shinto. It mentions the work of @jolyonbt, @AikeRots, and Mark R. Mullins: news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/e3c6d…
88/ The mayor of Kasaoka city in Okayama prefecture posted this photo of himself on Facebook wearing a "Peace Road in Japan" t-shirt on July 8th, the day Abe was assassinated. He says he had no idea it is a Unification Church group. matomame.jp/user/yonepo665… Image
89/ The Ishin party has announced that 13 of their 62 Diet members self-reported participation in UC-affiliated events, but all said that their election campaigns received no donations or "organized support" from the UC.
90/ Based on what has been reported about the UC's involvement in elections/politics, a lot of what it does is technically not "organized" support because church members will say they are acting as individuals when they provide support to politicians.
91/ TBS interviews a Korean UC official (w/ face blurred out) who says that Abe's 2021 video message was a pleasant surprise to him. Prior to that message he and other Korean UC believers had a negative view of Abe due to the PM's historical revisionism.
92/ The TBS report also has footage of the Japan president of UPF saying that Donald Trump sending a message to the UC front organization's 2021 event was a major factor in convincing a reluctant Abe to also send a message. Image
93/ The suspect has told police he decided to kill Abe after viewing the 2021 video of Abe speaking at that UC-affiliated event. If the information in #92 is true, one could say that Abe might be alive today had he not decided to follow Trump's example. ImageImage
94/ Here is another new TBS clip, looking at the UC-ties of the LDP's Shimomura/Inoue/Kimura. It also has footage of Japanese being pressured into making huge donations backed up with words from former Japanese UC members.
95/ One former UC member says that Japanese were pressured into donating themselves into bankruptcy, but she did not hear about it happening to Korean members. UC weddings required a "donation" of 1,400,000 yen(over $10k) from Japanese, while Koreans only had to pay 140,000 yen. Image
96/ She says that UC members were taught "anti-Japanese" ideology about how Japanese people had to pay for their country's "sins." Koreans, as God's chosen people, were not expected to make extreme donations to the Church. Image
97/ She says because of the past sins of Japan's comfort women system, Japanese women were expected to be happy marrying anyone the UC selected as marriage partners. Her first marriage was to an unemployed Korean man who joined the UC because its ads offered him a Japanese wife. ImageImage
98/ The first husband beat her, so she was able to get a divorce. Her parents and the UC convinced her to marry a second time, but the next husband was also a disaster, using her credit card and taking out loans in her name without consent. She eventually fled back to Japan.
99/ This thread is supposed to be about the UC and politics, but her story was presented in a news report alongside information about LDP politicians' ties to the church. Many other TV news reports are structured like this, linking the politicians to the suffering the UC causes.

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More from @mrjeffu

Nov 29
ANN aired this report that highlights how the LDP/Komeito-backed relief bill for Unification Church victims is useless to many victims. The UC apparently already has a manual on how to collect proof that can be used to argue donations were not coerced.
This includes having people sign statements agreeing that they freely made the decision without being pressured by anyone. They also sometimes ask donors to write out a statement expressing their willingness to donate, or film videos that prove their belief in UC teachings.
The bill also has a somewhat narrow ban on the practice of having people sell their houses and donate the proceeds to the religious group. It leaves out farm land, despite the fact that several publicized victim testimonies mention being pressured into selling farm land.
Read 4 tweets
Nov 6
New JNN/TBS Poll: Prime Minister Kishida's approval rating has dropped to 39.7% (down 3.1 from October). Disapproval has risen 3.8 to 57.7%. It is worst JNN/TBS poll result since Kishida took office a year ago.
The poll also asked people about the economy. 77% had a negative appraisal of the Kishida administration's response to rising prices. 72% answered that the price increases were negatively impacting their households.
The Unification Church issue continues to be a major topic. 65% answered that cabinet ministers who had inadequately explained their ties to the church should resign, while 69% supported ordering the legal dissolution of the church.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 22
The Unification Church held a press conference earlier today in Japan, blaming negative reporting about the UC's exploitative fundraising tactics on "left-wing lawyers." They insisted that the Church ended all of that years ago. Image
As the linked video shows, children of UC members have testified that highly aggressive fundraising is still taking place and that the Church really has not changed its ways. Journalist Suzuki Eito also doubts the Church is actually reforming itself.
The daytime news show Miyaneya carried the press conference live, with longtime UC experts Suzuki Eito and Arita Yoshifu ripping into the Church's claims via live fact-checking text at the bottom of the screen.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 21
Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Yamagiwa Daishirō has been caught (again!) for not disclosing ties to the Unification Church. Photos have been found of him attending a UC event with Church leader Hak Ja Han. Image
Yamagiwa has repeatedly failed to mention ties to the UC, only admitting specific facts after they are discovered by the media. For example, he could not "remember" attending a UC event in Nepal until after the media found photos of it.
Asahi TV describes him as engaging in 後出しジャンケン(atodashi janken), cheating at rock-paper-scissors by delaying his move until after the other person has already played their hand. This really is ridiculous. Image
Read 5 tweets
Sep 13
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara Seiji reported to the LDP that he had no ties to the Unification Church. After someone pointed out his participation in a 2016 UC-sponsored event, he miraculously remembered and now admits it. lol.
The same report contains footage of LDP lawmaker Doi Tōru sending a message to a church event in 2021 in which he calls UC leader Hak Ja Han the "true mother" who can unify and bring peace to the world. Doi participated in 5 such events over the years. Image
Doi claims that he wasn't sure what to say at the event so he prepared remarks based on the organizers' suggestions without thinking much about it. Now that the media has the video footage (provided by Suzuki Eito), he is expressing some regret about his remarks.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 24
Nakayama Mineo stepped down as leader of the Kumamoto Kishida Association, but has also denied he knew another group he chaired was related to the Unification Church. Prime Minister Kishida continues to deny any relationship with the church. Image
The organization in question was the Japan-Korea Tunnel Association, which supports a project to dig an undersea tunnel between Japan and Korea. The Unification Church is the principle supporter of this project in Japan, and it is hard to believe Nakayama did not know it.
The undersea tunnel was a dream of UC founder Sun Myung Moon, and considerable funds have been spent on a few test digs. However, as the Asahi TV video linked above notes, it costs about $450 to dig just a millimeter of tunnel, so they are seeking government support for the plan.
Read 5 tweets

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