Family members of Unification Church followers welcome upcoming legislation on donations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sayuri Ogawa, right, and Tatsuo Hashida attend a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

Families of Unification Church followers held a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday to express their appreciation for an upcoming bill that prohibits unscrupulous solicitations of large donations.

“It is a miracle for a law to be made in such a short period of time,” said a woman who uses the pseudonym Sayuri Ogawa. She has been speaking since October about her experiences of being a child of church members. Speaking on behalf of people who suffered, Ogawa said, “Even after this, please don’t forget about us.”

Tatsuo Hashida, from Kochi Prefecture, said his former wife made many large donations to the Unification Church, which contributed to his family breaking up. His eldest son later took his own life. Hashida said in anticipation of the new law: “It is like a page of a new chapter being opened for families that have been troubled by religion. I want to thank everyone involved.”

The legislation is expected to be approved Saturday after deliberations in the House of Councillors.