Embattled Minister Akiba Paid Fees to Unification Church

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 26 (Jiji Press)--A Liberal Democratic Party branch led by embattled Japanese reconstruction minister Kenya Akiba has been found to have paid 24,000 yen to a group linked to the religious organization known as the Unification Church.

A Miyagi prefectural branch of the ruling LDP led by Akiba paid the money as membership fees in July last year to the prefectural chapter of the group related to the controversial organization, formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, according to a political funds report released by the prefecture's election board.

When taking office as reconstruction minister in August this year, Akiba flatly denied that he had made any payments to Unification Church-related organizations or received support for election campaigning from them.

Akiba was not on the list of LDP lawmakers released in September who made any payment to the Unification Church's side.

His office said Friday that the money should have been reported as magazine purchase costs, adding that the branch subscribed to the magazine for one year at the request of a supporter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press