The following article was posted on the online edition of the South Korean daily newspaper Segye Times on Friday, May 14. Tongil Foundation, Moonies
Japanese parliamentarian calls for measures against religious kidnapping
Clr. Akimoto points to insufficient police response
Govt. promises strict enforcement of law
By Kim Dong Jin firstname.lastname@example.org
A voice has been raised in the Japanese Diet (parliament) pointing out the seriousness of the abduction and forced conversions of followers of particular religions.[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2010-10-14 00:13:28 뉴스자료에서 이동 됨]
“Incidents are occurring of abduction and confinement in cases where where parents and children or other relatives follow different religions, but the police are not dealing with these appropriately,” Councilor Tsukasa Akimoto of the Liberal Democratic Party said May 14 in questioning Chairman Hiroshi Nakai of the National Public Safety Commission and Justice Minister Keiko Chiba.
“Even if it involves parents and children, abduction and confinement is a crime violating basic human rights, and the police must be fully involved in investigating such crimes from the earliest stage,” Akimoto said…
Akimoto called on the Japanese government to understand the seriousness of the situation.
In response, Chairman Nakai of the National Public Safety Commission stated, “When police receive reports of abduction and confinement, even in cases where it involves parents and children, the police should listen to what each side has to say and deal with the situation strictly according to the law.”
The NPSC chairman is a member of the Cabinet and is the most senior official responsible for the police in Japan.
Continuing his questioning, Akimoto said, “Even when victims of abduction and confinement file reports with the Human Rights Protection Bureau (of the Justice Ministry), the bureau refuses to investigate incidents where more than one year has passed. Many victims are suffering serious effects even after more than a year, so the cases should be investigated thoroughly and the violations of human rights made public.”
Justice Minister Chiba responded by saying, “In incidents where more than a year has passed, there are cases where securing evidence and proving the allegations is difficult, making it impossible to carry out an investigation. However, in cases such as abduction and confinement where victims feel significant danger even after the passing of time, we will consider how exceptions may be made to investigate after a complaint has been filed."
This was the first time the Japanese Diet took up the issue of religious kidnapping since April 20, 2000, when then Rep. Jin Hinokita criticized the police for their insufficient response to such cases during a session of the House of Representatives Audit Committee.
A person connected to the Association of Victims of Abduction, Confinement and Forced Conversion responded cautiously to the government’s statements, which were broadcast live over the Internet. “The chairman of the National Public Safety Commission has stated in the Diet that the police intend to deal with these situations strictly, so we hope that police officers in the field will carry out these words so that our rights to religious freedom will be secured.”
The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church) has revealed that 4300 cases of religious kidnapping involving their members have occurred in Japan since 1960.