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Kyodo News: 100s of Rights Violations Claimed

Shiodome Media Tower

Large Japanese news agency reports on hundreds of rights violations suffered by minority faith

by Knut Holdhus
Heavily biased article by Kyodo After Kyodo News, the leading news agency of Japan, issued its report on 23rd June 2024, dozens of Japanese newspapers, including large ones like the Sankei Shimbun and Tokyo Shimbun, have reported on hundreds of human rights violations and other damages suffered by members of the Family Federation, formerly the Unification Church throughout Japan.

Sankei on rights violationsAccording to the Kyodo News report, the Family Federation had received a number of inquiries from various news outlets, and in response to those, it released a statement on 22nd June claiming that since 8th July 2022, there had been “a total of 337 cases of human rights violations and other damages had been reported by believers and churches nationwide up to December of last year”. 8th July 2022 is the day former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was killed by assassin Tetsuya Yamagami, who claimed grudges against the Family Federation.

Graffiti Japan
Graffiti sprayed on Family Federation facilities in Japan after the Abe assassination in July 2022. Photo: FFWPU

The huge number of open hostilities against the Family Federation include graffiti sprayed on cars, and windows of church facilities being broken during prayer sessions.

According to the large news agency, the Family Federation also alleged that contracts to purchase cars under the church’s name were signed at used car dealerships affiliated with Toyota and Nissan, but the purchases were later refused. Toyota denied these claims, stating, “There is no truth to it,” while Nissan commented, “We do not disclose individual transactions and have not issued any directives regarding sales to the church.”

Graffiti
Graffiti sprayed on Family Federation facilities in Japan after the Abe assassination in July 2022. Photo: FFWPU

The Family Federation announced that it will present these details in writing to Tokyo District Court during the hearings for the dissolution order requested by the Kishida administration. The religious organization also reported recurring incidents of graffiti with messages like “Traitor cult” and “Cult, get out,” along with nuisance phone calls at churches in various locations across the nation.

Kyodo News also reported that conflicts within families belonging to the Family Federation regarding faith and donations have intensified. For example, a woman in her 70s from the Tokyo metropolitan area sustained a fracture after being assaulted by her husband, who acquired negative views of the religious organization following the assassination of the popular former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In another case, a woman in her 60s from the same region reported that her relationship with her daughter rapidly deteriorated after the media linked the cold-blooded murder of Abe to the Family Federation. It culminated in the daughter’s suicide in July 2022, soon after the assassination.

The statement issued by the Family Federation on 22nd June gives a detailed overview of the human rights violations and other damages suffered by the religious organization and its members since the huge number of sensationalist biased media articles that turned truth on its head, claiming it was the Family Federation that was the perpetrator and the assassin a victim.

Featured image above: Shidome Media Tower, located in Shiodome, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Floors 1–24 are the headquarters of Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency. Photo:  License: CC ASA 3.0 Unp.

Text: Knut Holdhus

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