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LDP walks away with a short diet session; No time for big questions


The extraordinary diet session that began on August 3 will end on August 5, leaving no time to address growing concerns about relations between politicians and the Unification Church or the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping Japan.

There are no plans on the table to address either issue, the former having been of great public interest in the wake of the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month and the latter because the government appears slow to take the lead in taking control. In this final stage of the health crisis.

The common practice of the extraordinary session of Parliament held shortly after the Senate elections, in this case on July 10, revolves primarily around deciding on the president and vice-chair of the chamber.

Given that Abe was shot dead just two days before voting day and that the attacker held a grudge against the Unification Church, now known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, some attempts to delve into her relationship with politicians seem appropriate for the time being.

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The 41-year-old suspect said he targeted Abe because he believed the politician had ties to the church.

Former church members were left shaking their heads at Parliament’s apparent lack of willingness to consider the links between the church and politicians, with some saying it shows lawmakers simply aren’t interested in their problems.

“I feel a gap in awareness between the general public and politicians,” said a woman in her forties living in Tokyo, who joined the church as a teenager because of her mother’s influence.

The woman said she was physically abused by the man she married at a mass wedding organized by the Unification Church and also suffered psychological scars because the church forbade divorce.

She said she desperately needed to know the extent of the dealings between politicians and the church, adding that any hint by a politician approaching the church in search of votes would be too much for her to bear.

“I want Parliament to seriously discuss the relationship between the church and politicians,” the woman said, understanding the lack of interest in the issue.

A woman in her 30s who lives in the Kansai region said she had a hard time growing up because her mother, who was also a member, donated about 100 million yen ($748,000) to the church. This means that she cannot attend high school or university.

With no plans for Parliament’s extraordinary session to discuss issues related to the church, the woman said, “I wanted lawmakers to hear the voices of the ‘victims’ as well as explain their ‘relations to the church.

Shigeru Minamino, a professor of political science at Kyushu University, said the three-day session was simply too short to deal with the many serious issues facing the nation.

“I feel that the representatives chosen in the elections are not fulfilling their roles,” he said.

Minamino even noted that politicians may feel naive that voters will forget the question of whether Parliament is not in session.

Toshimitsu Motegi, general secretary of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, insists that there are no organizational links between the party and the Unification Church, and said it is the responsibility of individual lawmakers to interpret their relationships with the church and its affiliated organizations.

A LDP lawmaker involved in the party’s Diet Affairs Committee admitted that an extension of the extraordinary session had not been considered.

Another LDP lawmaker said an extended session would have given the opposition an opportunity to attack the LDP from all sides regarding widespread suspicions about its ties to the UC.

But the LDP is not solely responsible for the short session.

The House Rules and Administration Committee directors from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party for the People at a meeting on August 2 agreed on the three-day session.

The CDP and Nippon Ishin have revealed their deputies’ dealings with the Unification Church, but the two largest opposition parties have other things on their minds.

The Democratic Congress Party continues to suffer from its disastrous performance in the elections, with some calling for the party’s chief executives to roll.

Nippon Ishin will soon hold its first election to choose a new party leader.