Unification Church seeks information on damages claims from consumer centers

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification’s Japan branch, speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Aug. 10.

The Consumer Affairs Agency confirmed that the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church, asked consumer centers in all prefectures to provide information on consultation services the centers provided regarding damages claims that related to the federation.

Consumer Affairs Agency Commissioner Yutaka Arai related the information to the press on Thursday.

“We believe that such movement [by the federation] is organized,” Arai said at a regular press conference, calling for such conduct to stop.

The agency made inquiries to municipalities by communicating with each prefecture and found that people claiming to be connected with the church had visited or made phone calls to local consumer centers, asking such things as “notifying them when the centers receive new consultations” or “providing information on consultations,” according to Arai. Such incidents were concentrated from late August to early September and continued until mid-September.

“We don’t tell [anyone] the status of consultations at the individual consultation stage,” Arai said. She also noted that no centers provided information to the church.

“We thought there would be a sharp increase in the number of consultations received at the centers, so people in charge visited the centers to apologize to them,” said a spokesperson for the church when asked about Arai’s remarks. “They didn’t intend to obtain any information.”