Chief Cabinet secretary admits meeting with church group

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi is the latest minister admitting to contact with the Unification Church, confirming on Feb. 7 that he met with individuals connected to the controversial religious group in September 2021.

The top government spokesman confirmed a weekly magazine’s report on the meeting.

Hayashi said it took place at his office in his constituency in Yamaguchi Prefecture, attended by members of a group affiliated with the church, now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

“The meeting was arranged by people from the local political community,” Hayashi said. “It’s one of many meetings of its kind and, at the moment, I’m not sure who they were or what we discussed.”

He also denied receiving any political support or donations from the group.

Shukan Shincho magazine posted an article about the meeting on its online platform on the same day.

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