It was reported that he became a supporting member because his campaign promises aligned with the group’s policies. One of his secretaries told Yomiuri Shimbun that Inoue did this to gain election support.
It has also been noted that many politicians have sent congratulations on events related to the group.
“There are many organizations whose true status remains unclear, but if you don’t take action when asked to attend an event, you are making them your enemies in the election. That’s why I used to send congratulations,” a former MP recalled to Yomiuri Shimbun.
Local guides have also received support from the group. Toyama Governor Hachiro Nitta admitted that he received support from the group in the 2020 gubernatorial election, in which he was elected for the first time.
“They chose a grassroots approach during the election campaign, and I was grateful for that at the time,” Nitta said.
Meanwhile, the group is also said to have exploited their connections to politicians.
A former supporter of the group said he was repeatedly shown images of Moon shaking hands with politicians.
Since the 1980s, the group has used their spiritual selling method to lure people into buying expensive goods, such as pots and personal seals, by telling them they are cursed by their ancestors to stoke fear. Mass group marriages, in which complete strangers are made into couples, have also become a societal problem.
Even sending a message of congratulations on an event related to the group means “support” for them, and the group could use such gestures by politicians for public relations, according to Yoshihide Sakurai, a professor at Hokkaido University.
“For the voters, the self-help groups of the individual politicians are important information when choosing their vote, so politicians should clearly state which groups they receive support from,” said the expert on the sociology of religion.
The Japan News
Asia News Network
Asia News Network: The Nation (Thailand), The Korea Herald, The Straits Times (Singapore), China Daily, The Jakarta Post, The Star and Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia), The Statesman (India), Philippine Daily Inquirer, Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japan News, Gogo Mongolia, Dawn (Pakistan), The Island (Sri Lanka), Kuensel (Bhutan), Kathmandu Post (Nepal), Daily Star (Bangladesh), Eleven Media (Myanmar), The Phnom Penh Post and Rasmei Kampuchea (Cambodia), The Borneo Bulletin (Brunei), Vietnam News and Vientiane Times (Laos).