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Embattled minister Akiba paid fees to Unification Church

Akiba, also allegedly involved in money and election law violation scandals, is at the center of attacks from the opposition side at the Diet, the country's parliament.
Akiba, also allegedly involved in money and election law violation scandals, is at the center of attacks from the opposition side at the Diet, the country's parliament.
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26 Nov 2022 02:11:04 GMT9
26 Nov 2022 02:11:04 GMT9

TOKYO: 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.

Akiba’s side was unaware at that time that the magazine was linked to the Unification Church, the office added.

Akiba, also allegedly involved in money and election law violation scandals, is at the center of attacks from the opposition side at the Diet, the country’s parliament.

In a Diet committee meeting Friday, the opposition camp urged Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to dismiss Akiba. But Kishida only reiterated that Akiba should fulfill accountability.

Many officials at the prime minister’s office said they want to keep Akiba in the post, but some in the LDP have begun to say that he should be sacked.

JIJI Press

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