Japan government calls for officials to review ties with Unification Church

Japan's new Chief of Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu announces new cabinet members at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

SEOUL, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Japanese cabinet members need to check and review their ties with the Unification Church to alleviate public concerns, a government spokesperson said on Monday, in a response to tumbling approval ratings for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

"Regarding the issues related to the Unification Church, we should pay enough attention to relationships with organizations that are socially criticized, so people won't have concerns," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a regular news conference.

Longstanding links between the strongly anti-communist church, which critics call a cult, and Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, have come into spotlight, hurting the popularity of Kishida's government, in the wake of the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assassination. read more

Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Kim Coghill

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