The “martial row” of Senator Hagiuda, with his regent and long run, blackmailing a senior senator…. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “martial row” of Senator Hagiuda, with his regent and long run, blackmailing a senior senator….

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Mr. Hagiuda and Mr. Ikina are “under fire” for visiting facilities affiliated with the former Unification Church (Photo by Kyodo News)

On August 10, the second Kishida cabinet was formed, removing seven cabinet ministers who had been accused of having ties to the former Unification Church (now the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification). Kōichi Hagiuda, 58, who became LDP policy chief after serving as Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, has been under fire for his daily reports of his close ties to the former Unification Church.

On August 18, reports ignited when Hagiuda admitted at the LDP party headquarters that in June of this year, he and Akiko Ikuina, 54, a candidate for the upper house election, visited a facility affiliated with the church in Hachioji, Tokyo, to request support for Ikuina.

Initially, Hagiuda admitted only to addressing a ceremony at an affiliated organization in October 2014. However, his intense contacts with the former Unification Association, which he had not previously explained, have come to light one after another. A mid-level member of the Seiwa-kai (Abe faction) said.

Mr. Hagiuda is favored by former Prime Minister Abe, and he has cleverly fed into the former Unification Church, Kakei Gakuen, and other “Abe connections. However, as some of his former followers have been saying in various media outlets, if he were to cut off his ties with the former Unification Church, there is a risk that retaliatory revelations would follow.

If he were a policy chief, it would be enough to hold a press conference or a hanging interview within the party, but if he were a cabinet minister, he would be repeatedly questioned by the opposition at the Budget Committee and other meetings. The fact that Hagiwada would be pursued in the Diet would be reported further, which would be damaging to the administration, so he has been moved to party business.

Mr. Hagiuda has a big-brotherly temperament and is a member of the party faction, having worked his way up from a city councilor in Hachioji. He is also adored as “Gyu-chan” by the younger members of the Abe faction. As for his personality, he is also said to be a “martial man.

It is said that the reason he did not enter Waseda University despite attending Waseda Jitsugyo high school, but instead wasted a year to enroll in Meiji University was because he got into a brawl with a Korean high school student at Takadanobaba Station and was suspended from school due to police action, and thus did not receive a recommendation. It is rumored that he had a regent haircut and wore a “long run” school uniform, and was called the “Gian of Waseda University.

He still retains some semblance of a martial artist, and a few years ago, he was smoking a cigarette at a meeting of the Seiwa-kai (Seiwa Association) with Hideo Onishi, a smoker. When a senior Diet member, who couldn’t help but notice, warned them that they should smoke where there were no people around, they spat at him, saying, ‘Wherever you smoke is fine,’ and gave him a glare.

Hagiuda is also a strong candidate for the vacant post of chairman of the Abe Faction. Hagiuda was first elected to the Hachioji City Council in 1991 at the youngest age of 27. He is known as a close confidant of former Prime Minister Abe and has served in a number of important positions, including Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

He has a rivalry with Hirofumi Shimomura, another close confidant of Prime Minister Abe and 10 years his senior. Mr. Shimomura’s relationship with the former Unification Church became controversial due to the issue of the church’s name change, which soured his position. Some believe that Mr. Shimomura may have thought, “I’m not the only one,” and decided to destroy his rival within the Abe faction.

Shimomura’s former secretary, Mr. K, was also a source of confusion in the Ikina campaign for this summer’s Upper House election. He even took the liberty of replying to NHK’s questionnaire as “unanswered. Is it a coincidence that Mr. K was in charge of managing Mr. Ikura’s schedule?

Although they vowed to remain “united” until former Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral on September 27, a foot-dragging battle is going on behind the scenes over the next chairman’s post. The aforementioned Diet member expressed concern about Hagiuda’s future.

“How much can he endure now that he no longer has former Prime Minister Abe behind him? ……

He should be accountable for his relationship with the former Unification Church, not just making excuses.

  • Interview and text by Daisuke Iwasaki Daisuke Iwasaki

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