Part of strategy used against Family Federation: impossible questions
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced 7th September 2023 that the Family Federation of Japan would be fined for not properly answering questions from the ministry. At a press conference the day after, Nobuo Okamura, head of the Legal Affairs Department of the Family Federation, explained how there were many impossible questions posed by the Kishida administration.
Observers claim that Prime Minister Kishida simply is behaving like a weathercock, in an effort to appear in agreement with the full-scale media storm started by activist leftwing lawyers blaming the Family Federation for the Abe assassination. The questions are simply a part of the Kishida-led government’s strategy to get the Family Federation dissolved in order to please wide-spread media-generated sentiments.
The Japan News by the Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan’s most read newspapers, published 14th September 2023 an article that clearly reveals how Kishida has caved in to public pressure,
“The central government has determined that the Unification Church religious group should be dissolved and plans to request the Tokyo District Court to issue such an order as early as October, sources said.”
The press conference, held at the Family Federation’s Japanese headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, was attended by the major Japanese media corporations.
Speaking for the Family Federation of Japan, attorney Nobuya Fukumoto, already in his opening words pointed out that the government has acted illegally and had to change the interpretation of the law in order to proceed towards the dissolution by posing hundreds of questions to the Family Federation.
Nobuo Okamura, head of the Legal Affairs Department of the Family Federation, explained why the Family Federation had not answered impossible questions from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). He said,
“First of all, the first point that we did not respond to is personal information. We did not respond to the questions about privacy and freedom of belief. They asked such questions. We did not reply to them.
Secondly, there were some duplicate questions. I think there were times when I didn’t give an answer to something like this because it had already been answered.
Then there were some questions about torts. Questions were not answered that could not be said to be related to the main topic of this question, which is torts.
And fourthly, there are currently cases pending in the civil courts. For these cases, we did not respond because they are subject to the court’s decision.
Then, fifthly, there was a question as to whether the corporation has such and such a text, if it is true that it is officially a regulation, that according to the regulations, there must be something like that. The question had not been adequately formulated, so we could not submit an answer.
Or there were cases where it was impossible to submit an answer because the time had already passed.
Furthermore, the Agency for Cultural Affairs itself cooperates with the National Federation of Bar Associations in many ways. From that angle, they were requesting one kind of document, with a strong assumption that it should exist. Regarding such materials, if we don’t have them, we cannot provide them. We cannot provide something we don’t have. […]
The sixth point is that the corporation has also submitted all the documents regarding the problems and requests for refunds from the former believers, and has also submitted a written settlement, etc., stating that the matter has been settled peacefully and amicably.
However, we were also asked to provide more detailed information on such problems, and this was probably requested by the National Federation of Bar Associations and because of their suggestions. But we did not have enough time to prepare carefully for it. And just to prepare it would probably have taken more than a year. There was such a question.
We cannot answer to those things. Well, we gave that kind of answer. There were several aspects that we couldn’t answer, so I think that’s why they pointed out that we didn’t answer nearly a hundred questions.
However, we regret very much the conclusion that we have been given such a fine. Basically, we have done our best to respond to the case as a whole. We regret very much that such a decision was made in response to our efforts.”
Okamura also pointed out the obvious bias of the government bodies handling Kishida’s dissolution plans,
“And also, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, concerning the way it requests these documents, as well as in its approach to the right to ask questions this time, has collaborated with the National Federation of Bar Associations, which represents one party in the dispute, and the Minister of MEXT has clearly stated this. And we have pointed out to the Agency for Cultural Affairs that their approach is very biased because of information they have been given by such people.
Also, former believers and former second-generation believers were received by Prime Minister Kishida, the Minister of MEXT, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs. They listened to many things.
But on the contrary, the second-generation of the church prepared 25,000 petitions, and so I made a direct request to the Agency for Cultural Affairs that they somehow be put to practical use. At that time, they said, “We will meet you.” But when I called the representative later, he said, “Please send it by post.” This was the response I received.
Concerning the former believers or former second-generation believers, there are quite a number of lies in what they say. For such cases, the Agency of Cultural Affairs listened to their one-sided story, but when the second-generation members of ours had prepared 25,000 petitions nationwide and wanted to explain our view of things, the Agency called by phone and said, “Please send them by post.” I can’t help but think that this is a very cold response, and a very biased response.”
“Impossible Questions Reveal Kishida Bias” – text: Knut Holdhus
More about impossible questions: Government Changing the Law Overnight
Even more about impossible questions: Claims: Government Acting Illegally