As “criminal complaints” came up during people’s submissions regarding the controversial Unification Church, the Japanese government may seek the dissolution of the religious group.
“Among complaints, were criminal cases,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
The Unification Church might have “violated various norms, including criminal law,” Kyodo News reported.
The development came after Kishida ordered investigations into the controversial religious group, in connection with the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
If the criminal complaints proved true, the government may seek its dissolution. However, any such order is possible only after the probe report is submitted to the court.
Any order to dissolve the group will not hinder the operations of the Unification Church in Japan, however, it will lose some privileges, including tax cuts.
The government opened a telephone service on Sept. 5 which “received more than 1,700 consultation requests by Sept. 30.”
The probe, led by Culture Minister Keiko Nagaoka, comes after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in July by a relative of a Unification Church member “who held a grudge against it and believed Abe was a supporter.”
It triggered a volley of suspicions and questions regarding the relations between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the controversial group which led to declining support for the Kishida-led Cabinet.
Kishida told parliament on Monday: “The government has taken seriously the fact that there are a large number of victims as well as poverty and broken families, and they haven’t been provided with adequate relief.”
Around half of LDP lawmakers are said to be linked with the group, now rebranded as Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.