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Minister in Tight Spot after Violating Rights

Masahito Moriyama violating rights

Kishida administration minister in difficult situation after violating rights of religious minority he was ally of

Statement regarding reports on Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Moriyama and the “Endorsement Affirming Letter” of this Federation (FWP)

Federation for World Peace (FWP) of Japanby Shunsuke Uotani, Secretary General of the Federation for World Peace (FWP) in Japan, published on the website of FWP Japan on 16th Feb. 2024. Original article

The Asahi Shimbun reported on 6th February, with an accompanying photo, that Masahito Moriyama, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, who has requested the dissolution of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Family Federation), received a letter of recommendation from this Federation (FWP) in the House of Representatives election in October 2021, and also received election support.

Furthermore, due to the fact that it was also reported in the 15th February issue of Weekly Shincho, Minister Moriyama is being pursued by the opposition in the Diet. And in some media outlets, these reports are being discussed as if they were “organized leaks” or “retaliation” by the Family Federation. Therefore, we would like to present the view of this Federation (FWP) on this issue.

Shunsuke Uotani
Shunsuke Uotani, Secretary General of the Federation for World Peace (FWP) in Japan. Photo: FOREF

The Federation for World Peace (FWP) has so far provided election support to members of the Diet and local assembly members who agree with the political philosophy and policies advocated by our Federation (FWP).

Basically, we have given a “letter of recommendation” to those who agree with and sign the “Endorsement Affirming Form” that lists five items: ① Amend the constitution to strengthen the security system, ② Work in the Diet on the enactment of laws supporting family education and the healthy upbringing of youth, ③ Handle LGBT issues and same-sex marriage issues with caution, ④ Promote the realization of the “Japan-Korea Tunnel” aiming for peace and prosperity in Asia and Japan, ⑤ Prevent the offensive of communist forces and cultural Marxism both at home and abroad. We have provided election support based on mutual agreement.

Such activities are commonly conducted as “lobbying activities” overseas, and in our country, “petitions” and “appeals” to members of the Diet is a right guaranteed by the constitution to all citizens. In addition, many of the policies advocated by the Endorsement Affirming Form are consistent with the party creed and policies of the Liberal Democratic Party. Therefore, it is not a problem legally or morally for a member of the Diet of the Liberal Democratic Party to sign the ‘Endorsement Affirming Form’ of this Federation (FWP), receive a “Letter of Recommendation”, and receive election support.

Despite this, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (文科大臣) Moriyama is in a tight spot because on 31st August 2022, Prime Minister Kishida, as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party, declared that the party’s members of parliament were obligated to investigate and report on their relationships with organizations associated with the Family Federation, including this Federation (FWP). This came after Kishida had announced the severing of ties with “organizations that are socially problematic”.

Fumio Kishida and Yoshimasa Hayashi
Overlooking any new “contacts”: Fumio Kishida and Yoshimasa Hayashi 14th Dec. 2023. Photo: 首相官邸ホームページ / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC Attr 4.0 Int. Cropped

Furthermore, the situation escalated to the point where ministers would effectively be dismissed if “contacts” not reported initially were revealed later. However, Prime Minister Kishida himself, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi, and Minister Moriyama have maintained an attitude of overlooking any new “contacts”, leading to criticism of double standards. It can be said that the Kishida administration is suffering from being bound by the rules it has created, truly falling into a state of “self-restraint” in this regard.

What is needed now is to reassess whether those rules were truly correct. The right to participate in politics, to petition or appeal to members of parliament, is guaranteed equally to all citizens by the constitution and must not be discriminated against based on religion or beliefs.

From that principle, it can be said that Prime Minister Kishida’s decision to declare the severance of ties with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and its related organizations was a mistake. Returning to the principle of equality under the law, a fundamental principle of the Constitution of Japan, is the key to solving the problem.

About FWP: The founding convention of the Federation for World Peace (FWP) was held on 28th August 1991 in Seoul, South Korea, with 250 former and current heads of state and government officials from 51 countries, including former British Prime Minister Edward Heath (1916-2005) and former First Secretary of State William Hague. The Japanese branch was established in Tokyo in March 1996, with Osami Kuboki (1931-1998) as its first chairman.

Featured image above: Masahito Moriyama, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Photo (2023): 首相官邸ホームページ. License: CC Attr 4.0 Int. Cropped

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