Japan Works Out Rules for Unification Church Probe

Politics Society

Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Cultural Affairs Agency on Tuesday presented to an expert panel a draft of rules on exercising the right to ask questions in a proposed investigation into the controversial religious group known as the Unification Church.

The panel approved the draft criteria, which say that the government can exercise the questioning right for a religious group under the religious corporation law when people linked to the group commit law violations repeatedly or when grave damage is inflicted, on the grounds of such objective evidence as verdicts in civil suits and other public judgments, according to informed sources.

The agency will consider how to deal with the Unification Church, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, based on the criteria.

The government is expected to exercise the questioning right for the Unification Church within this year after presenting a list of questions to the Religious Juridical Persons Council, comprising the same members as the expert panel.

The religious corporation law stipulates that the government can issue a dissolution order to religious organizations if they commit illegal acts found to clearly damage public welfare or acts that deviate significantly from their stated purposes. The government can exercise the questioning right for religious groups suspected of meeting these conditions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press