Kyoto Gov. orders investigation into scandal-hit church

Mainichi Daily News/April 9, 2005

Kyoto -- Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada has ordered investigations into the activities of a church in Kyoto Prefecture whose leader is under arrest on suspicion of raping a young girl, it has been learned.

Yamada ordered Kyoto Prefecture's educational division, which manages religious corporations, and the prefectural board of education to investigate the activities of the Seishin Chuo Kyokai church headed by Tamotsu Kin, 61.

The governor also ordered investigations to be carried out on the condition of young victims of Kin's actions.

Under the religious corporation law revised in 1996, religious corporations are to report to the government through local bodies when they perform activities that cross prefectural boundaries.

The Seishin Chuo Kyokai, however, did not file any reports with Kyoto prefecture's educational division even though it also operated outside Kyoto Prefecture, division officials said.

From 1998, the division issued numerous notices to the religious corporation, but officials reportedly simply replied that the relevant procedures would be carried out once steps had been taken within the corporation.

Police investigators have learned that Kin, who stands accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, frequently took girls with him when he went to perform missionary work overseas. This year, he reportedly took girls with him when he traveled to the United States and New Zealand.

Kyoto Prefectural Police officials are continuing to carefully investigate Kin's actions, suspecting there is a possibility he raped girls overseas as well as in Japan. Police arrested him on April 6, reportedly to prevent other girls falling victim overseas.

Kin had reportedly been planning a mission trip to Taiwan and Thailand between April 7 and 17.

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