The government is steadily investigating the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (hereafter, the former Unification Church) in preparation for its request for a dissolution order.
In March of this year, the government exercised its right to question the cult for the fifth time. Furthermore, in April, the National Lawyers’ Committee for Unification Church Damage Control announced that it had filed a claim against the cult, seeking approximately 315 million yen in compensation. Both the public and private sectors continue to press the former Unification Church to take action,” said a reporter from the society section of a national newspaper.
However, the church is not standing idly by. Since the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July of last year, internal “reform” has been underway, and on March 24, a “progress report video” was uploaded to the organization’s website. On March 24, a “progress report video” was uploaded on the website. The video was presented by Hideyuki Teshigahara, 60, General Manager of the Reform Promotion Headquarters.
In the 10-minute video, General Manager Teshigawara begins by stating, “Our efforts to comply with laws and ordinances have been very successful,
In the 10-minute video, General Manager Hideyuki Teshigahara begins by stating, “The so-called Compliance Declaration we made in 2009 was an important turning point in our efforts to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
He emphasized that since 2009, the number of lawsuits against the Church has been drastically decreasing. He then went on to speak in a more emphatic tone about the situation surrounding the Church since the shooting incident.
In the government, an inter-ministerial liaison council has been established and a consultation service for victims and others has been set up. Furthermore, each and every politician was questioned about his or her relationship with the Family Coalition, an extraordinary situation that would be unthinkable in Japan, where freedom of thought and belief is guaranteed by the Constitution, and could be called a “witch hunt in Reiwa.
The phrase “Reiwa’s witch hunt” suggests the quiet anger of General Manager Teshigawara that many of the bashings against the Reiwa are unjustified. Nevertheless, he also seems to believe that we must be mindful of the public’s viewpoint, and there were times when he spoke to his followers in a mild voice, saying, “The purpose of democracy is to serve God through the will of the people.
The purpose of democracy is to realize a world centered on God through the will of the people, so how we are perceived by the world is actually very important.
“This is a time when we need to go even further in our reforms.
He continued, “The main concrete proposals for reform of the church are as follows,
(1) Prohibit excessive donations that interfere with the normal life of the family, such as debt donations.
(2) Prohibit the encouragement of donations that may cause anxiety based on spiritual knowledge.
Prohibition of evangelistic activities that may be suspected of concealing one’s true identity.
The first one, in particular, prohibits excessive donations.
In particular, the first one, ‘excessive donations,’ has been pointed out by many former believers. As a countermeasure, Teshigahara explained that he had prepared a “donation confirmation form” with checklist items. He also said that the church would issue a “letter of receipt” upon receipt of the donation.
The letter of confirmation reads
The confirmation letter includes such items as “I am not worried that this donation will interfere with my or my family’s life” and “I have not borrowed anything new from other people or financial institutions for this donation. However, a person involved with the church who watched the video tilted his head.
In the end, this checklist is nothing more than a self-report. It is not surprising that there are some believers who do not write down their true financial situation, even though they have cut back on their family finances to make their donations. If you are talking about ‘in-depth measures,’ you need to create a system to verify the authenticity of the declarations, but you don’t mention that at all. Frankly, I doubt that this will really solve the donation problem.
However, General Manager Teshigahara seems quite confident in the “reforms” that he has proposed, and in the video he proudly states, “This is one of the most important reforms that have been made by the various religious organizations in Japan.
I would say that this is the strictest application of the law among the various religious organizations in Japan.
FRIDAY Digital interviewed the cult about the true meaning of the aforementioned statement in the video. FRIDAY Digital interviewed the church about the true meaning of the statements made in the video, and received the following response in writing.
The term ‘witch hunt in Reiwa’ is a quote from the World Daily, an organization that is a friend of ours. It means that after the murder of Prime Minister Abe in July last year, a certain major media outlet conducted a survey of Diet members and local government officials, asking them whether they had relations with the Family Coalition and related organizations, and encouraging them to “snitch” on other Diet members who had relations with the Coalition. The discourse implies that a survey was conducted to ask members of the Diet and local autonomous bodies whether they had relations with the Family Coalition and related organizations, and to encourage them to “snitch” on other members who did. We were not referring to the “Liaison Conference of the Ministries and Agencies Concerned with the Old Unification Church,” and your suggestion that we are critical of the government’s attempt is misinterpreted.
As for the operation of the donation confirmation form,
The government is not critical of the government’s attempts to use the donation confirmation form. In order to confirm that the items are correct, we are thoroughly operating the donation confirmation form and the receipt form.
This was the response.
How did the “reform” being promoted by General Manager Teshigawara appear to the believers?
Photo： Kyodo News Agency (1st photo) Takeo Yuzuru (3rd photo)