Kevin M. Doak, author and professor of East Asian languages and cultures at Georgetown University, Washington DC, says that the Japanese communists are doing their best to exploit the Abe assassination to “smear the former Unification Church and the LDP”, the governing party.
Doak, whose current focus of research is questions connected to politics and religion in modern Japan, was interviewed by the Tokyo-based newspaper Sekai Nippo in an article published on 10th May 2023.
In the interview by the paper’s Yosuke Yamazaki the professor said,
“The communists are trying to suppress all religions, especially the former Unification Church. This is because the old Unification Church, which originated in Korea, is anti-communist. Many members of the LDP are also anti-communists.
The purpose of the campaign by the JCP [Japanese Communist Party] is to extinguish anti-communism. If they annihilate the former Unification Church, they will annihilate any other religion, just like Communist China.
This is because the communist state considers religion to be an obstacle in its quest to control everything.”
In the article, professor Doak, who is often interviewed by Japanese newspapers and journals, points out that Japanese media seems to echo “the thinking of the brutal people in the Chinese government that religion is outdated and superstitious and should be suppressed, and that the people would be freer if they only listened to the state.”
A media campaign largely orchestrated by leftwing forces opposed to the former Unification Church, portrays according to Doak, religion as dangerous. By pointing out the many “ties” between religion and politicians, the anti-religious activists seem to suggest a view much favoured by the Chinese Communist Party, that lawmakers should have nothing to do with religion.
The American academic is puzzled by a Japanese media uncritically embracing totalitarian China’s view on religion. He calls for “a positive press that religion is not a destructive, anti-social phenomenon, but something that makes society healthier.”
Kevin M. Doak has served as co-editor of The Journal of Japanese Studies and on the executive board of the Society for Japanese Studies.
Featured image above: Dr. Kevin M. Doak, author and professor of East Asian languages and cultures at Georgetown University, Washington DC. Published with permission.
Text: Knut Holdhus