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Japan minister reveals he met with Unification Church leader in 2018

Economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa holds a press conference in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 3, 2022. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Japan's economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa revealed on Oct. 3 that he met with the current leader of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (better known by its former name, the Unification Church) in 2018.

    Yamagiwa did not explain that he had met with the religious group's leader Hak Ja Han Moon when he admitted on Sept. 20 to attending a 2018 event in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward organized by the main body of the organization after an outside party confirmed his presence.

    When asked at the Oct. 3 press conference about his awareness of his attendance at the event, Yamagiwa commented, "I recall having met the representative somewhere." He then admitted that the representative was leader Hak Ja Han Moon. As to why he had not explained the fact before, he said, "I did not tell you because it would be inaccurate to talk about it when I did not remember where (we met)."

    As for recalling the occasion of his encounter with Han, Yamagiwa said, "It was at a banquet hall-like venue. I may have said a word or two, maybe just a 'hello.'"

    (Japanese original by Tsumuki Nakamura, Political News Department)

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