Kishida Wants Cross-Party Talks on Unification Church Victim Bill


Tokyo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday expressed his hopes to create a bill on aid to victims of problematic practices by the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church, partly based on discussions between the ruling and opposition parties.

At a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, Kishida also stressed his government's intention to submit the bill to the ongoing extraordinary Diet session early.

At the meeting, Kishida offered an apology over Daishiro Yamagiwa, who resigned as economic revitalization minister recently amid a chorus of criticism over his ties with the Unification Church. The issue of Yamagiwa "undermined trust in politics," the prime minister said.

The Upper House meeting followed a similar plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, on Tuesday. It is unusual for a prime minister to give an explanation about a resigned cabinet minister at a plenary meeting of the upper or lower chamber.

At Friday's meeting, Kishida said that he wants discussions to be held across parliamentary groups on aid for Unification Church victims including those who have made large donations to the organization, adding that the government will draw up a rescue bill based also on the discussions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press