Japanese Education Minister Masahito Moriyama Denies Election Support from Unification Church

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Masahito Moriyama

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese education minister Masahito Moriyama on Tuesday denied seeking election support from an organization linked to the controversial religious group Unification Church.

“I haven’t asked the (Unification Church-related) organization for support in any past House of Representatives elections,” he told a meeting of the Budget Committee of the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

Moriyama, a Lower House member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was responding to Akira Nagatsuma, policy head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, who grilled the minister over a media report that he received support from the organization in question in the 2021 Lower House election.

At the committee meeting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also president of the ruling LDP, said that he will check with cabinet ministers once again about the party’s policy of severing relations with the Unification Church, formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

“I want (Moriyama) to continue to fulfill his duties,” Kishida said, rejecting a call from CDP member Issei Yamagishi for dismissing the education minister.

Moriyama said, “I will firmly carry out my duties.”