State minister: I met five times with Unification Church leader

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A state minister of the Cabinet Office faces calls to resign over his close ties to the much-criticized Unification Church, the leader of which he met five times.

“I met her (Hak Ja Han Moon) five times, I believe,” said Shozo Kudo, a Lower House member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, at a Lower House special committee session on Nov. 16, in response to a question from Nobuko Motomura of the Japanese Communist Party.

Kudo’s responsibilities include overseeing the Consumer Affairs Agency, which is affiliated with the Cabinet Office.

The agency has jurisdiction over a new law for preventing unjust solicitation of donations, which was enacted in December after the shooting death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe drew public scrutiny to the massive donations sought by the Unification Church.

Motomura called for Kudo’s resignation, saying that he is not the right person for the job.

Kudo, 58, is known to have had ties with the Unification Church, now formally called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

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