Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hirofumi Shimomura praises the “soul developer’s” treatment method that “remitted more than 90% of depression. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hirofumi Shimomura praises the “soul developer’s” treatment method that “remitted more than 90% of depression.

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Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Hirofumi Shimomura, 69, is at a crossroads over the LDP faction’s slush fund issue. He is regarded as a key person who knows the whole story of the slush fund issue because he served as the secretary-general of the Abe faction. One such person is Yasuyuki Sato, who claims to be a “soul developer. Sato runs a psychosomatic medicine clinic called “YS Kokoro Clinic,” but some have questioned his treatment methods. We take a closer look at the reality of the situation.

Mr. Shimomura at a crossroads in his life as a Diet member

In the profile section of the official website of Mr. Yasuyuki Sato, who calls himself a “true self and mind specialist,” we find the following description. As will be explained in more detail in a later section, this was the profile as of April 12, and has now been partially revised.

He invented “the world’s first standing steak” and achieved annual sales of 5 billion yen (70 restaurants) in 8 years. He then transferred his management rights and founded the “School of the Heart. For about 30 years, he has been teaching people to awaken to their “true self” and has dramatically turned around the lives of more than 520,000 people in the group as a whole. In 2002, he opened the YS Kokoro Clinic in front of JR Tokyo Station, where he has achieved a remission rate of over 90% within 90 days for depression treatment.

Training guidance has been provided to Nobel Prize nominated scientists, famous doctors, executives of major corporations, and employee training, etc. At ANA (All Nippon Airways), training has been provided to all 43,000 employees of the group. He is also trusted by politicians, including members of the Diet, and has produced a Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. At the request of the government, the company has achieved significant results in eliminating the problem of social withdrawal. He has also led many cases of bullying and truancy in public elementary schools to resolution.

According to a staff member at the YS Kokoro Clinic, which is located in the Sato Yasuyuki Shinga Building, this “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology” is Hirofumi Shimomura, a former senior member of the Abe faction of the LDP and former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, who was suspended from party membership for a year over a slush fund issue. A man who said he had attended counseling at the clinic testified, “I have seen an official car (used by LDP members) parked near this building.

The “Sato Yasuyuki Shiga Building” is located in Koto Ward. The building houses the YS Kokoro no Clinic, which is also used as a venue for self-help seminars.

Journalist Eito Suzuki, an expert on self-help seminars and psychic sales, sighs.

In the past, Mr. Shimomura has tended to swing in the opposite direction of scientific thinking, praising the well-known fake science of “EM bacteria (a type of microorganism),” and “nano pure silver decontamination (a theory that silver nanoparticles can decompose radiation and decontaminate the body). He is also devoted to the “Edo shigusa,” a fake moral history that was popularized as a manner of living that spread during the Edo period (but has no historical support or scientific basis), and his low level of literacy is worrisome. When he became Minister of Education in the second Abe Cabinet in December 2012, he was ridiculed by netizens as the “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The man in question, Yasuyuki Sato, is the founder of “Steak no Kuishimbo” and the head of the YS Group, which holds self-development seminars and operates a mental health clinic and counseling business in the Sato Yasuyuki Shinko Building, where I visited the author.

On December 6, 2009, Mr. Shimomura posted the following on his Facebook page.

I attended the Shinga Development Course given by Mr. Yasuyuki Sato, with whom I have had a close relationship for 30 years. (omitted). The true ego is the development of the soul and the development of the true self. The ultimate output education is to know oneself and the purpose of one’s life. Education is for people to be happy, and I felt a hint of that at the seminar.

Praise for Mr. Sato on SNS

Did Mr. Shimomura succeed in developing his true self by grasping the “hints for people to become happy” through the training and guidance he received at Mr. Sato’s seminar? It appears to be true that Mr. Sato has “produced a Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.

A flier distributed at a counseling session at the YS Kokoro no Clinic. When interviewed by this magazine, ANA denied that Mr. Sato held in-house training at the company.

However, there are several suspicious points about Mr. Sato. For example, the aforementioned profile of Mr. Sato and the flier read that he “conducted training for 43,000 ANA (All Nippon Airways) Group employees,” but the ANA public relations department responded, “Some of the training was conducted by Yukiyuki Matsushita, who is a member of the ANA Group.

In some training programs, when quoting various business leaders such as Konosuke Matsushita, we sometimes quote from Mr. Sato’s book, “Discovering Beauty Points (looking for the good parts of people). However, there is no fact that Mr. Sato himself came to our company as a training instructor; we did allow him to mention our name on his website, but it is written in a very subtle way.”

A search on the Web revealed that while there were some positive comments about Mr. Sato’s seminar, “Shinga no Jissenkai,” there were also criticisms such as, “It is not effective at all for the high price,” “You are mind-controlled in a canned state,” and “The solicitation is persistent after one session.

The participation fee for the seminar is expensive, at 88,000 yen per session. According to the website, the fee used to be 176,000 yen per seminar, but the monthly fee system has made it cheaper.

The YS Mental Clinic is headed by a psychiatrist and staffed by a neurologist on a part-time basis, but according to a patient of the clinic, “In principle, you cannot receive only medical examinations. The clinic offers a set of self-development seminars and counseling curriculum called the YS Method, which is designed to develop one’s true self.

The clinic offers a program called “Remission of Depression. There are several courses, but the six-day course costs 297,000 yen, and the two-day course costs 99,000 yen. Whether this is expensive or inexpensive depends on the individual, but at the very least, it is not an amount that the average person can easily afford.

The YS Kokoro no Clinic sign also states that the clinic has achieved a “remission rate of over 90%” and a “recurrence rate of less than 3%” for depression treatment.

According to the clinic’s signboards and pamphlets, the “YS Method is a revolutionary treatment method,” and the clinic’s “experimental treatment for depression has shown a remission rate of over 90% and a recurrence rate of less than 3%,” “an improvement rate of over 97%,” “many people have experienced immediate improvement,” and “a sure cure for depression,” are all bold statements. and “We cure depression without fail. However, as far as we can see from the website, the basis of these data is not clear.

Satoru Fukumoto, an attorney at Kisaragi Law Office, points out that “the clinic’s advertisements on its website may be in violation of medical advertising guidelines.

On June 1, 2006, the Medical Care Act was revised, and the provision of information via websites is now subject to advertising regulations. The “YS Kokoro no Clinic” website may be considered a hype advertisement or comparative quality advertisement, both of which are prohibited under the “Medical Advertisement Guidelines. The first page of the website prominently displays that the “remission rate of depression is over 90% and the relapse rate is less than 3%,” but “remission” is a term that refers to a state in which symptoms have subsided. Some patients may not realize the difference between “remission” and “cure,” and may come to our clinic under the misconception that their disease has been completely cured. Furthermore, the expressions “we have achieved an improvement rate of more than 97%” and “surely cured” do not have obvious data basis, and it is not appropriate to say that “many people have experienced immediate improvement”. Because depression varies from patient to patient, both in symptoms and in the effects of medication.”

If the website is found to be a hype advertisement, it will be punishable by imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to 2 million yen, or both.

The fact that the explanation of the ‘Yasuyuki Sato YS Method’ and the phrase ‘it is effective’ are placed before the greeting from the director of the clinic is also problematic. Medical treatment is a system in which doctors actually examine patients, make the appropriate decisions for them, and bring about the best possible effects, and the ‘Sato Yasuyuki YS Method’ should not come before that. I think it is inappropriate as an advertisement to induce patients who wish to be treated for depression,” said Dr. Fukumoto.

What is Mr. Shimomura’s relationship with Mr. Sato? Is he a member of the School of the Heart? What criticism has he heard about the company? We asked these questions to Hirofumi Shimomura’s office, but as of April 19, a week had passed since our request for an interview, and the office had not yet responded.

We also asked the Yasuyuki Sato Institute, a general incorporated association, whether the “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology” in Mr. Sato’s profile is Mr. Shimomura and what kind of relationship he has with Mr. Shimomura, but they, too, had not responded by the deadline. While no response was given, the section on “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology” was cut from Mr. Sato’s profile.

Profile of Yasuyuki Sato before revision
Revised profile of Yasuyuki Sato

On the other hand, YS Kokoro Clinic responded to the question, “What do you think about the fact that the website has been pointed out as hype and comparative quality advertising?

The data from the “Depression Clinical 90-Day Program” clinical trial (from March ’14 to January 26, 2005), which is available on the clinic’s website, proves that “depression can be remitted more than 90% of the time. The results are as shown in the figures when the YS method is used as per the conditions. This data is posted on our website as data with clear evidence, and we have created our website in compliance with the medical advertising guidelines of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. There is no problem with the confirmation by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and Deloitte Tohmatsu. In addition, in accordance with the medical advertising guidelines of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, we do not state on our website that “depression can be cured without fail.

According to the “YS Method ‘Depression 0’ Program: Treatment Data of 100 Patients Who Have Remitted Depression” posted on the YS Kokoro Clinic website, of the 100 patients at the YS Kokoro Clinic, only one patient has completely recovered from his/her depression. For the other 96 patients, vague terms such as “remission” and “recovery” were used, and only 7 patients were able to abstain from medication for their depression. It should be added that even the patients who were said to be “completely recovered” took more than six months of treatment.

Incidentally, the “YS Kokoro Clinic” responded, “We do not state that depression is definitely cured,” but the flyer that the author received at the clinic and the clinic’s website clearly state that “depression is definitely cured. It must be said that there is a contradiction in their claims.

The YS Kokoro no Clinic’s website clearly states that it “definitely cures depression” (as of April 17).

We hope that Mr. Shimomura, as a former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, will focus firmly on facts, reality, and work to improve the political distrust, including the back taxes issue.

  • Photographed and written by Yuria Fukatsuki

    Yuria Fukatsuki is a graduate of Keio University's Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science. Representative of the Fukatsuki Office. She writes for a number of media and also works as an actress, model, belly dancer, and FM radio personality. She is also actively involved in animal welfare activities and produced her own TV program "Animal Welfare, Living in Harmony with the Earth" for TV Kanagawa.

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