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Abe's death spotlights Unification Church links to Japan's LDP

Cabinet members acknowledge support from group tied to ruling party lawmakers for decades

Many Japanese lawmakers have received support in elections from groups affiliated with the Unification Church, or participated in events held by such groups. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- The assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the suspect's grudge against the Unification Church have heightened public scrutiny of the group's web of connections to Japanese officials.

The organization now formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification has been enmeshed in Japanese politics for decades. In 1968, it established the International Federation for Victory over Communism, an anti-communist political group, and began forging ties with conservative lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

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