In Japan, Minister of Reconstruction Akiba Kenya, who has been criticized for misuse of funds and affiliation with the Moon Sect, also known as the Unification Church, has been sacked.
The fate of Minister Akiba was decided after allegations in the national press that he violated the public election law, abused political funds and had relations with the Moon Sect.
Acknowledging some of the accusations attributed to him, the Japanese Minister admitted that intra-party groups he led had paid money to Moon Sect-related organizations.
After reactions from both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), Akiba was dismissed from his post.
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio appointed LDP MP Watanabe Hiromichi, who had previously assumed this post, to the vacant post of Minister of Reconstruction.
Akiba is the fourth minister dismissed in the last 2 months.
In the cabinet of Prime Minister and LDP Chairperson Kishida Fumio, three ministers have been dismissed since the end of October due to funds abuse, political blunders and Moon Sect liaisons.
In the Japanese national media, it was stated that with the dismissal of the 4th minister, the political future of the LDP could be adversely affected before the local elections in April 2023.
Politics and the Moon Sect
The political repercussions of the assassination in July of Abe Shinzo, who held the title of “the longest-serving prime minister of the country” in Japan in 2012-2020, continue.
On the eve of the parliamentary elections, Abe was assassinated by gunfire during his party’s speech at an outdoor event in the western city of Nara on 8 July.
The murder suspect, Yamagami Tetsuya, stated that he held a grudge against Abe for publishing a message supporting the religious organization known as the Unification Church (FFWPU).
After the suspect Yamagami defended in the police interrogation that his mother’s donations to FFWPU had bankrupted his family, Japanese public opinion turned to politics-church relations.
In the politics-church investigation conducted within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), it was revealed that 179 deputies had relations with the “Moon Sect” and close organizations.