Panel Starts Discussing Rules over Unification Church Probe


Tokyo, Oct. 25 (Jiji Press)--A panel of experts set up by the Japanese government started on Tuesday discussing rules on exercising the right to ask questions in the proposed investigation into the religious group known as the Unification Church.

The expert panel at the Cultural Affairs Agency brings together 19 members including university professors and religious figures, all of whom are members of the agency's Religious Juridical Persons Council.

"We hope that the issue will be discussed from various perspectives in light of the graveness of the case and that a certain level of direction will be shared among panel members at the next meeting," Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Tetsuo Goda said at the outset of the panel's first meeting. The meeting took place behind closed doors except for the opening.

The deputy commissioner also said the panel plans to cooperate with legal and accounting professionals.

Last week, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed relevant ministers to investigate the Unification Church through the exercise of the questioning right under the religious corporation law. The move comes as the Unification Church, along with its practices of selling goods to members at high prices and collecting massive donations, was spotlighted after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in July by a man motivated by Abe's alleged links with the religious group.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press