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Unification Church and politics

Unification Church: How Japan politicians counted on members' votes

Former Prime Minister Abe's faction historically had ties to the group

A photo of Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, shaking hands with former Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, right, was published in "A Pictorial History of the 40 years of the Unification Church" issued by the religious group. (Photo by Mayumi Tsumita)

TOKYO -- The July 8 assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shed light on the relationship between the controversial Unification Church and Japanese politicians.

The church's vote-gathering power and its members' willingness to volunteer on the campaign trail was alluring to politicians. For the church, formally known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, displaying its association to famous politicians helped bolster its credibility.

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