Japan PM to formulate state funeral rules, revise law on ‘spiritual sales’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a plenary session of the House of Representatives in the Diet on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida faced a barrage of questions from opposition party representatives about issues including the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and links between his party’s lawmakers and the Unification Church during a plenary session of the House of Representatives Wednesday.

Regarding the holding of state funerals for former prime ministers, Kishida expressed his intention to formulate rules for decision-making procedures and other matters.

Kishida also said he would listen to the opinions of experts about Abe’s state funeral and present the findings at an early stage.

“We aim to establish rules on what procedures should be followed, including the involvement of the Diet,” he said.

Regarding so-called spiritual sales, coercive sales tactics that have been used by the group formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Kishida said he would aim to review the Consumer Contract Law to support victims.

The prime minister revealed he had instructed consumer affairs minister Taro Kono to accelerate consideration of such issues as the expansion of the right of revocation in cases of improper solicitation.

Kenta Izumi, leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, demanded the dismissal of economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, whose ties to the Unification Church have been uncovered, but Kishida refused, saying, “As a politician, he needs to take responsibility to give a clear explanation.”

Kishida also stressed he would thoroughly pursue the LDP’s policy of severing ties between the group and his party and its lawmakers.