In order to decide whether to issue a dissolution order to the former Unification Church, the ``inquiry'' procedure to hear opinions from both the government and the church was held for the first time on the 22nd at the Tokyo District Court. I would like to request that.''

On the 22nd, the Tokyo District Court held for the first time a procedure called an ``inquiry'' to hear opinions from both the government and the religious group regarding the order that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology requested in October last year to disband the religious group.

The ``hearing'' was held behind closed doors, and according to people involved, Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the cult, gave his opinion and said, ``Receiving donations is part of religious activities, and there is no longer any hidden missionary activity.'' I ask that you make a fair judgment.''

Based on interviews with more than 170 victims, the government has argued that ``the cult's actions, such as large donations and inspirational marketing, are illegal acts under civil law, and the damage caused is enormous.''

This is the third case in which an administrative agency has requested a dissolution order on the basis of violation of laws and regulations, following Aum Shinrikyo and Myokakuji Temple, but this is the first time that a dissolution order has been requested on the basis of civil law torts, and future proceedings will be decided. The direction will be watched.

Discussion on legal development for damage recovery support

After a dissolution order was filed against the former Unification Church, the Diet debated legislation to prevent the church from hiding assets until the court's decision is made, and to help former members recover from the damage caused. it was done.

The law enacted in December last year requires religious corporations that have requested a dissolution order to submit notifications before disposing of real estate if a significant number of victims are expected to be affected, and The law also included requests for the submission of documents such as catalogs.

This month, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has finalized its policy to designate the former Unification Church as a "designated religious corporation" subject to the law, and has notified religious organizations.

The law also includes strengthening the system centered on the Japan Judicial Support Center (Houterasu) so that people who complain of damage caused by large donations can receive support in civil trials, regardless of their income. Preparations for the launch of the system are underway.

Regarding the country's response, there are voices from "second-generation" people who grew up with parents who are believers, as well as from a group of lawyers, who say that it can lead to relief for victims. There are also opinions calling for continued consideration, such as, ``The measures are not effective.''

2nd generation man: “Please explain during the deliberation process”

A former believer in his 30s, a second-generation man whose parents continue to practice the faith, said of the proceedings of the hearing, which is being held in private, ``The conclusion was reached without us, the parties, knowing anything about it.'' I would like the government to provide an explanation during the deliberation process to ensure that this is not the case.I feel that the public's interest is waning as time passes.What is illegal about what the former Unification Church has done? I think that by thinking about this as a problem for society as a whole, we can prevent children from suffering because of their parents' beliefs again."

Male active believer: ``Hold the trial based on the facts and law''

According to a man who is an active believer who was interviewed by NHK, there has been no explanation from the cult regarding the specific content of the claims made at the hearings or the progress being made.

The man said, ``It's frustrating, but I want the court to conduct trials based on objective facts and the law, without being influenced by public opinion or external criticism.'' I would be satisfied if a dissolution order was issued as a result of a fair hearing. It will be accepted."

He added, ``While we don't know when the trial will end, I believe that there are things that the cult can do, such as improving the organization and sincerely confronting the victims, rather than just waiting for the outcome. I want it," he said.