Japan govt to strengthen Unification Church consultations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi speaks at the Justice Ministery on Thursday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government will set a monthlong intensive consultation period, starting early September, for victims of the religious group widely known as the Unification Church, Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi said Thursday.

The government will consider relief measures immediately after advice is sought by victims of the religious group, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

“We’ll listen to the voices calling for help and provide relief,” Hanashi told a meeting of government officials to tackle issues related to the religious group.

The group is known for so-called spiritual sales in which goods are sold at high prices on a claim that they get the buyers out of misfortunes.

A survey by the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales has found that there were 34,537 cases of spiritual sales between 1987 and 2021. Total damages came to ¥123.7 billion. The number of such cases peaked around 1990.