Soka Gakkai sending warning signals to religious world calling for strong resistance against proposal for separation of church and state

Asahi Shimbun/May 4, 1996

Some religious organizations are calling for solidarity to obstruct the ruling tripartite's examination for submitting to the Diet the "Proposal for The Fundamental Separation of Church and State (FSCS)" out of fear that "the government will strengthen its control over religion."

Soka Gakkai, which is the support base for Shinshinto (NFP), is crying out to the religious world for solidarity. A few religious organizations, which support the LDP, are calling for others to respond.

Because of the protracted debate over matters related to the proposal for the liquidation of the mortgage companies, some members of the ruling coalition feel it may be difficult to submit the FSCS proposal in the current Diet session.

Though there is strong distrust for the Soka Gakkai among supporting organizations of the LDP, there is little possibility that a "joint struggle" by them will be realized immediately. However, new movements in the religious world are being watched closely.

Organizations belonging to the New Federation of Religious Organizations of Japan, Catholic, Protestant, traditional Buddhist groups and others, approximately eighty organizations that make up the Communications Committee for Matters Related to Religious Organizations will invite LDP leaders to a meeting on May 17 to hear the ideas of the party on Church and State. The Communications Committee was formed last year at the time of the Revisions to the Religious Corporation Law to observe and study their impact on religion. This is the first time the committee has invited leaders of the LDP. They aim to confirm the party's position on religion.

With opposition voiced by Rissho Koseikai and Soshi Kameya, the chairman of the Japan Christian Federation, leaders of the LDP say, "Even considering opposition from religious organizations outside of Soka Gakkai, it may be difficult to submit the proposal in this Diet session." However, the LDP is again prepared to actively work on new legislation depending on the movement of Shinshinto and Soka Gakkai.

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