I had no idea that that building was a facility of the former Unification Church.
I had no idea that building was a facility of the former Unification Church,” said a neighbor, surprised by the huge building in a residential area of Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture. It is a luxurious facility owned by the former Unification Church (now the Family Association for World Peace and Unification). The three-story structure, with a floor space of approximately 270 tsubo (892 m2), was built on a site of approximately 180 tsubo (595 m2), and stands out from the crowd.
The standard unit price per tsubo in this area is 740,000 yen. The price of the land alone is about 130 million yen, and if you include the building, it could easily exceed 400 million yen,” said a local real estate agent.
The name of the former Unification Church is nowhere to be found on the building, only “MCJ Production” written on the wall. What in the world is this building? Another real estate agent with knowledge of the situation told us.
“It was built in the early ’90s as a facility for a private junior college, and many students used to go there. In the mid-1900s, the owner changed to the former Unification Church, and it became a music studio. I remember that entertainers often visited the facility at that time, and some of the world’s most popular artists came to visit.”
The facility was called “MCJ Studio” by those involved with the church and was built for rock musician Kojin Moon (who died in March 2008), the eldest son of Oyasun Moon’s founder, Sun Myung Moon. A blog by a member of the church states that in 2003, three of Moon’s children visited the studio to practice singing for a concert to be held in the United States under the auspices of the church.
When asked by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification about the purpose of the studio and its involvement with the Unification Church, the Public Relations Office responded as follows.
The building of the MCJ studio is owned by our organization, but the operating entity, MCJ, Inc. is not owned by our organization.”
We also contacted MCJ, which operates the studio, but did not hear from them by the deadline.
The representative of MCJ is said to have served as an executive of the former Unification Church. Therefore, in the past, religious media reported that the studio was an affiliate of the former Unification Church,” said a reporter from the society department of a national newspaper.
Journalist Eito Suzuki, who is familiar with the former Unification Church, said, “The studio is a church organization with video messages and so on.
Suzuki Eight, a journalist familiar with the former Unification Church, said, “The studio is probably filming and producing materials related to the church, such as video messages. （When the former Unification Church disposes of its property before the dissolution order (issued in October of this year) is finalized, it may start with facilities such as MCJ Studios, where the name of the church is not mentioned.
If the assets of the church, said to be worth about 100 billion yen, are disposed of and moved to South Korea, relief for victims may be delayed. In order to prevent this from happening, it is necessary to establish laws and monitor the situation.
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From the November 10 and 17, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
Interview and text by Masayoshi Katayama (journalist)： Masayoshi Katayama (Journalist) PHOTO： Kyodo News (2nd photo)