Japan Lower House OKs Bills to Aid Donation Victims

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's House of Representatives passed bills Thursday to help people financially exploited by religious or other groups seeking donations aggressively.

The bills were approved at a plenary meeting of the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, amid mounting calls for helping victims of inappropriate donation-soliciting acts by the religious group known as the Unification Church.

The bills--one to establish a new law and the other to revise the consumer contract law--were sent to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, immediately.

"We want to continue efforts to enhance the effectiveness (of the new legislation) including by making our legal interpretations clearer," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a Lower House special committee prior to the chamber's plenary meeting.

Kishida indicated that the new legislation is expected to help not only future but also current victims, saying that obligations of religious and other groups to give consideration to donors "may be taken into account to recognize past illegal acts."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press