Japan Lower House Speaker Admits Ties to Unification Church

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda on Thursday admitted attending four meetings related to the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church.

"From now, I will not have any relationship with organizations that are said to be socially problematic," Hosoda said in a statement issued as a member of the Lower House of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Hosoda, former head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's intraparty faction formerly led by the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left the LDP's parliamentary group in the chamber when he became speaker in November last year.

In early September this year, the LDP released the results of its investigation into links between its lawmakers and the Unification Church, saying that nearly half of its lawmakers had ties to the group, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

Hosoda was not covered by the investigation because he is not a member of the LDP's parliamentary group. Opposition parties therefore asked him to explain his relationship with the Unification Church at a Lower House steering committee meeting.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press