Kishida vows to sever LDP's ties with Unification Church

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday his Liberal Democratic Party will require its lawmakers to sever ties with the Unification Church, which has come under the spotlight following the assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe in early July.
Kishida also told a press conference that he will answer questions in parliament on the government's decision to hold a state funeral for Abe. Opposition parties had urged Kishida to do so as the public remains divided over holding such an event for Abe, who often stirred controversy with his policies as prime minister.
"I feel that the people's trust in politics has been shaken," Kishida said, apologizing for the LDP facing doubts and questions after a number of its lawmakers were revealed to have had links with the Unification Church.
The religious group has been under scrutiny since Abe's assailant said he harbored a grudge against it and believed that the former prime minister had ties with it.
Kishida met the press after Kishida returned to normal in-person work on Wednesday, having recovered from a coronavirus infection suffered earlier this month.
On the state funeral scheduled for Sept 27, Kishida said, "I strongly feel that I need to squarely answer questions" from the opposition camp in parliament.
He defended the government decision to hold the event, saying it is needed as many countries have expressed condolences over Abe's death. But he also said that holding a state funeral is not meant to encourage people to go into mourning, a point of concern raised by opposition parties.

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