The Liberal Democratic Party’s Okayama 5 electoral district branch, which is represented by Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, has paid membership fees to an organization affiliated to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU, formerly called the Unification Church), Akahata learned from a government report on political funds. The Unification Church’s fortune-telling fraud and mass weddings have long caused numerous social problems.
According to the report, the district branch paid a 15,000-yen “membership fee” on March 13, 2014, and on March 27, 2016, to Sekai Heiwa Josei Rengo (Women’s Federation for World Peace). Kato was Minister in Charge of Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens at the time of the payment in 2016.
The Women’s Federation was founded in 1992 by the Unification Church’s guru, Moon Sun-myung. The organization is suspected of
raising funds and recruiting members on behalf of the former Unification Church under the pretext of educational lectures, overseas volunteer work, and support for foreign students.
According to lawyer Hiroshi Yamaguchi, there are currently 20 to 30 lawmakers in the Diet who are friendly toward the former Unification Church and whose names are being used in their home districts for recruitment purposes. Yamaguchi is secretary-general of the National Networks of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales, an organization working to rescue victims of illegal recruitment and the fortune telling fraud. (Abridged)