In early August, a newspaper was dropped off at the office of a Diet member in the Nagatacho Diet Members’ Office and became a quiet topic of conversation.
The name of the newspaper was “Sekai Nippo. In red ink in the upper right corner was the inscription, “Dedication. A secretary of a member of the House of Representatives of The Japan Innovation Party, who held the newspaper in his hand, said, “In Nagatacho, there are many people who are interested in the local community in general.
In Nagata-cho, there are no newspapers sold by local newspapers, so the Marunouchi Shimbun subscribes to all national and local newspapers at once. However, that newspaper sends them to us unilaterally without a subscription contract. Moreover, it is not a delivery service. It is posted directly to the mailboxes in each room in the hall, so it should not be possible without someone making the rounds. The reception desk at the hall opens at 8:00 a.m., and they must be posting the mail before that. Since this is a high-profile organization, some offices have recently been getting rid of them as soon as they find them.”
The Sekai Nippo, first published in 1975, is a daily newspaper that has been linked to the former Unification Church (now the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification). The paper has 12 pages, including domestic and international politics, economics, sports, securities, and a TV section. The paper has a strong conservative tone with a forceful stance toward China, but it does not lack overall balance. However, only primary information is provided on the relationship between the former Unification Church and various political parties and politicians, which has been widely reported in national newspapers in recent years. Of course, there is no mention of the former Unification Church or the voices of its followers whose families were destroyed by excessive donations.
It seems to be a well-known story in Nagata-cho that the newspaper has been delivered to the office mailboxes of conservative Diet members of the Liberal Democratic Party, The Japan Innovation Party, and the People’s Democratic Party.
The newspaper has been arriving from time to time for quite some time now. I’m sorry, but I think most offices just throw them away without reading them.
I don’t even subscribe to it, but I often get it thrown in my mailbox.
I remember seeing them often in the past, but now they come and go.
I don’t remember that. If they arrive on a daily basis, it is impossible not to notice them” (Takayuki Kobayashi, LDP minister in charge of economic security).
There seem to be shades of gray even among conservative lawmakers.
Fumitake Fujita, 41, a member of the House of Representatives and secretary-general of The Japan Innovation Party, also expressed some concern.
Our office has not received any. If they are distributed to other offices, where is the line between our office and others? Is it because we subscribe to the Seikyo Shimbun at our local office?”
House of Representatives member Takashi Endo, 54, chairman of the national opposition committee of The Japan Innovation Party, who frequently receives the newspaper at his office, said.
I’ve been getting them for a while now, but I don’t know why. We are Pure Land Buddhists, and we don’t have a relationship with the gods because we don’t want them to fight with each other, but for some reason we are receiving them. I would understand if they were giving them away for free for a while and asking us to buy them and read them, or asking us to comment on them, but there have been no requests for speeches or congratulatory telegrams, and no contact with us. I wonder what it is.”
They seem to be posted more often to the offices of the House of Representatives than to the House of Councillors, but we can’t find any consistency. It seems that quite a few of the offices of members of the LDP, who are called conservative, have not received them either. A veteran LDP secretary speculates.
A veteran LDP secretary speculated, “The LDP senator’s office asks for the Komei Shimbun and the Seikyo Shimbun from the Komei Party as part of their business relationship. If they receive newspapers from other religions in their mailboxes, they probably don’t read them.”
Mito Kakizawa, 51, a member of the LDP House of Representatives from Tokyo’s 15th district, said, “I think they are distributing them free of charge to all members.
“Aren’t they distributing it free of charge to all members of the House? We order the Seikyo Shimbun, but the Sekai Nippo is also often mailed. Of course, we don’t have a contract. We don’t socialize with them at all. I’ve never been to a meeting. I have never given a speech. But I still receive them almost every day. Is it a relationship from my father’s (Koji) generation or what?”
I requested an interview with Sekai Nippo, but did not receive a response by the deadline.
The Diet members’ building is a 12-story structure, with three buildings for both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. There are more than 450 rooms for the three parties, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Restoration Association, and the People’s Party. Although it is not likely that they post the mail in all the rooms every morning, it would require a lot of effort. Whether this is a missionary activity or a show of organizational power, the mystery deepens.
Interview and text by： Daisuke Iwasaki