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Questions in Parliament about Dissolution Case

Satoshi Hamada questions in parliament

Member of House of Councillors asking questions in parliament about Family Federation being unfairly singled out for dissolution

Diet committee
Satoshi Hamada (standing at bottom) asking questions to the parliamentary Administrative Oversight Committee in the Japanese Diet 13th May 2024. Photo: Screenshot from video recording of the event.

Part 1 of Satoshi Hamada’s questions

See part 2, part 3

On 13th May 2024, Satoshi Hamada (浜田 聡), member of the House of Councillors, the Upper House in the National Diet of Japan since 2019) asked several questions to the parliamentary Administrative Oversight Committee concerning the current case at Tokyo District Court about the Kishida administration’s request for a court order to dissolve the Family Federation of Japan.

Hamada’s questions are seen as an attempt to point out important perspectives that are missing from the authorities’ and the media’s one-sided, biased handling of the case. The apparent bias is seen by many as seriously endangering the court’s impartiality in its crucial decision-making process.

Satoshi Hamada said,

“I am Satoshi Hamada from the NHK Party [also called the anti-NHK party – NHK being the national broadcasting association]. First, I would like to ask you about the issue of the Family Federation, also known as the Unification Church.

As for the issue of the former Unification Church, my perception of the problem is probably different from the tone of the mainstream media in general, and I disagree with the direction that the former Unification Church should be dissolved.

At present, a request for a dissolution order has already been filed with the court, so I hope that the court will make a thorough adjudication.

However, as for the important perspectives that are not covered by the mainstream media, but are necessary for the court’s consideration, I intend to address them in this parliament. Therefore, I kindly ask the members of the judiciary to pay close attention to my questions and written inquiries submitted to the committee and to consider them as materials for your judgment [判断材料 – refers to information or evidence used for making judgments].

Now, my first question:

If a dissolution order has been requested for the Family Federation, shouldn’t other religious organizations, involved in serious misconduct, also face dissolution requests?

Tatsuki Nakayama
Attorney Tatsuki Nakayama Jan. 2024. Photo: Screenshot

I have prepared a document submitted by lawyer Tatsuki Nakayama (中山達樹) of Nakayama International Law Office to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).This document was submitted on January 4, 2023.

Based on the content of this request, I will ask my question.

The three corporations mentioned here – Kigenkai [紀元会  – a small Shinto group. In 2007 a group of members killed another member.], Kukai Mikkyō Daikinryūin [空海密教大金龍院 – esoteric Buddhist group. in 2012, a group of members beat another member to death.], and Shinji Shūmeikai [神慈秀明会 – Shinto organization followed by various scandals.] – have all been involved in incidents related to group violence and deaths.

The petition states that dissolution orders should also be issued to these three corporations, and I believe that this is a reasonable opinion.

Therefore, my question is: Are there any plans to submit dissolution order requests for these three corporations? If not, please explain the reasons.”

Akiko Honda, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, replied,

Akiko Honda
Akiko Honda (LDP), Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Here on 26th Oct. 2023.  Photo: 首相官邸ホームページ / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC Attr 4.0 Int. Cropped

“I will respond to Commissioner Hamada’s question. The request for a dissolution order against the former Unification Church was deemed appropriate because the case, in which widespread harm was caused by the unlawful solicitation of donations by members of the said organization, falls under the grounds for a dissolution order as stipulated in Article 81, Paragraph 1 of the Religious Corporations Act. The cases related to the religious organizations you mentioned are entirely different from those of the former Unification Church. Therefore, requesting a dissolution order for the former Unification Church does not necessarily imply that the same should apply to the three organizations you pointed out, and there are no plans to do so.”

Continued in part 2, part 3.

Featured image above: Satoshi Hamada speaking in the Japanese Diet (Parliament) 13th May 2024. Photo: Screenshot from video recording of the session.

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