TOKYO, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) — Japan’s training and tradition ministry on Friday filed a request with a court docket for an order to dissolve the Unification Church, in a bid to deprive the group of its spiritual company standing.
The authorities filed the request on the Tokyo District Court, saying the group’s practices are unlawful and considerably dangerous to public welfare.
The transfer got here after a months-long probe into the controversial spiritual group over alleged malicious practices together with soliciting financially ruinous donations from members.
The ministry interviewed greater than 170 individuals related to the group. Nearly 5,000 items of proof have been submitted to the court docket, public broadcaster NHK reported.
If the court docket accepts the federal government’s request, the Unification Church, based in South Korea in 1954, would lose its standing as a spiritual company and be disadvantaged of tax advantages, though the group may nonetheless proceed its actions in Japan.
The Unification Church has lengthy been criticized for encouraging its followers to make exorbitant donations within the type of “spiritual sales” in return for “karmic benefits.”
The group additionally got here underneath intensified scrutiny after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot throughout an election marketing campaign speech in July 2022 by Tetsuya Yamagami over his perceived hyperlinks to the group.