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Unification Church and politics

Japan's lower house passes bill to help Unification Church victims

Law restricts solicitation of donations; critics urge tougher steps as in France

TOKYO -- Lawmakers in Japan's House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass a new bill offering support to victims of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church. The bill is expected to be voted into law by the House of Councilors before the closing of the current Diet session on Dec. 10.

The new legislation, which passed with a majority of votes from both ruling and opposition parties, would ban organizations such as the church from soliciting donations through fear, and grant members the right to withdraw donations if they are found to have been made under coercion. Children and spouses of members will also gain the right to request the cancellation and partial refund of donations made by their relatives.

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