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The assassination of Shinzo Abe in July exposed an intricate maze of links between the former Unification Church and Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.   © Illustration by Michael Tsang
The Big Story

Strings pulled: Dissecting Japan's Unification Church problem

LDP scandal exposes religion's potential role in gender policy and LGBTQ rights

RURIKA IMAHASHI and ALICE FRENCH, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- On Nov. 10, 2019, Ichiro Inamori was met with enthusiastic applause onstage at a gathering in Ginowan, a sunny beach town in Japan's southern Okinawa prefecture. He was about to give a lecture regarding "pure love, happy family and sound society" at an event entitled "Lecture on Families of Hope."

His 90-minute speech would go on to detail how same-sex unions endanger Japan's national stability and destroy families. "In countries where same-sex marriage is legalized ... the number of homosexuals is increasing and society is becoming unstable," Inamori declared. "We cannot allow that. That is Satan's strategy!"

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