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Almost Half Japan’s Ruling Party Linked to Unification Church

  • Premier seeks to dispel suspicions that have hit support
  • Kishida defends decision to hold state funeral for Abe
Updated on

Japan’s ruling party said almost half of its lawmakers had contact with the controversial Unification Church as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida seeks to dispel public suspicions over the ties and restore support.

Some 179, or more than 47% of the Liberal Democratic Party’s 379 members of Parliament had contacts with the group, whose fund-raising methods have prompted dozens of court rulings in Japan. Concerns over the sect resurfaced after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July.