Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

Japan: Death threats to Unification Church members

Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the Japanese branch of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is questioned by the press at a news conference in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on July 11, 2022. (Mainichi/Junichi Sasaki)

Japanese Unification Church followers and their families have faced harassment since former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's death, according to the organization's sources on August 10.
Police stated after Abe's killer’s arrest that the suspect bore a grudge toward a "certain group" he believed he was associated with.
According to local media, the suspect's mother donated 100 million yen (about $1 million) to the Unification Church before declaring the chapter.
The president of the Household Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) in Japan, Tomihiro Tanaka, said, "Unverified reports that (the suspect) was motivated by donations made by his mom, one of our members, as well as media coverage of our organization, have led members to express their hurt."
Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo that some of his followers were unable to attend college due to bullying, or resigned from their jobs.
"In Japan, we have received threatening telephone calls threatening us with death," Tanaka stated.
Formally known as the Household Federation for World Peace and Unification, Solar Myung Moon established the church in Korea in 1954, and its followers are called "Moonies."
A strong public inquiry into the church's connections to Japanese politicians has been sparked by Abe's killing.
On August 10, Nobuo Kishi, Abe's brother, was appointed defence minister after a cabinet reshuffle.
As a result of admitting that church members volunteered for marketing campaigns, Kishi agreed to re-evaluate his relationship with the church.
However, Tanaka acknowledged that the two organizations share goals regarding their opposition to communism and denied that his federation would single out the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for help.
He asserted that other factors contributed to the encounter between us and LDP legislators.
The assassination has reignited years of controversy over the church, where some of its members have been accused of making ruinous donations to it.
According to Tanaka, the church takes precautions to ensure that donations do not exceed a person's belongings. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.