Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday he did not believe the religious group widely known as the Unification Church had ever impacted the Liberal Democratic Party’s policies.
Speaking at a press conference, Kishida denied the party’s organizational relationship with the group — now officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification — saying, “As far as I know, the LDP has no connection with the group concerned.
“We must respect the constitutional right to freedom of religion, but at the same time, religious groups must abide by relevant laws and regulations as members of society.”
Kishida said the government would take strong action if laws are broken, adding that he had instructed relevant ministers, including Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi, to combat illegal activities such as malicious business practices and to support victims.
Touching upon the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kishida said, “The incident needs to be thoroughly probed, and the security system must be rebuilt.”