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Japan debates limiting 'spiritual sales' amid Unification Church row

New commission weighs how to prevent unethical tactics by religious groups

The National Diet Building in Tokyo. The Unification Church has become a topic of major controversy in Japan following the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO -- Japan on Monday launched an expert commission to debate potential restrictions on "spiritual sales" tactics and solicitations for religious donations, after the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fueled controversy over practices by groups like the Unification Church.

"I hope for discussions on whether the Consumer Affairs Agency was doing enough on this issue, and how we should react," consumer affairs minister Taro Kono said at the commission's inaugural meeting. He relayed instructions from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for a "speedy response."

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