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Conference and Demo Protesting Dissolution

protesting dissolution

Members and supporters in Japan holding conference and demo locally protesting dissolution order request by Kishida administration 

Sekai Nippo on LDP pressuring council
Logo of the Sekai Nippo

Tokyo, 18th June 2024 – Published as an article in the Japanese newspaper Sekai Nippo. Republished with permission. Translated from Japanese. Original article

Family Federation believers protest against the dissolution order request – Kumamoto

by the editorial department of the Sekai Nippo

On 16th June, members and supporters of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Family Federation) held the ‘Kumamoto Conference to Protect Freedom of Religion’ at a hotel in Kumamoto City. They protested against the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology‘s request for a dissolution order against the Family Federation. Afterward, about 500 participants marched in a demonstration through the downtown area of the city.

Masumi Fukuda
Masumi Fukuda speaking in Kumamoto 16th June 2024. Photo: Screenshot from video recording.

Journalist Masumi Fukuda (福田ますみ), who gave a speech at the conference, stressed, ‘To protect the Family Federation‘s freedom of religion, it is crucial to raise our voices specifically and hold demonstrations in a way that the general public can understand.’

Islamic critic Humayun A. Mughal (フマユン・A・ムガール) warned, ‘In Islam, faith in God is taught, and religion or churches are necessary when one’s heart is overwhelmed. If they are destroyed, the number of suicides might increase.’

Isao Tonomi (主海偉佐雄), chairman of the ‘Kumamoto Prefectural Citizens’ Association for the Protection of Basic Human Rights and Freedom of Religion’, which organized the rally, said in his opening remarks, ‘Nothing is more important to us than our faith. We want to make a strong appeal for that in the demonstration that will take place after this meeting.’

Masumi Fukuda in Kumamoto
Masumi Fukuda speaking in Kumamoto 16th June 2024. Photo: Screenshot from video recording.

After the conference, participants marched through the arcade district of Kumamoto City, chanting slogans such as ‘We are firmly opposed to the dissolution order.’ The media and the Diet have intensified their criticism of large donations following police information that Tetsuya Yamagami, who shot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, did so because of the mother’s large donations to the Family Federation. This has led to a request for a court order to dissolve the religious corporation.

If dissolved, all employees of the organization would lose their jobs, all assets would be seized, and believers would lose their places of worship, resulting in significant restrictions on their faith.

Featured image above: On June 16, 2024, the ‘Kumamoto Citizens’ Association for the Protection of Basic Human Rights and Freedom of Religion’ held a protest march in the arcade district of Kumamoto City against the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s request for a dissolution order for the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Photo: Sekai Nippo

Text: The editorial department of the Sekai Nippo

Masumi Fukuda (福田ますみ) is a Japanese non-fiction author and award-winning journalist, well known for her investigative journalism. She has written several in-depth reports about the persecution of the Family Federation in Japan and has exposed how a leftwing network of lawyers uses any means to have the Family Federation dissolved. Her articles have been published mainly in Japan, but several are republished by Bitter Winter, the international online magazine on religious freedom and human rights.

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