The Japanese have a particular relationship with spirituality, and this particularity seems to be a fertile ground for associations and religious sects. This is what emerges from an analysis by Pio d’Emilia for Il Messaggero, who writes, quoting the Jesuit Father Giuseppe Pittau: “in the Japanese there is a high sense of spirituality, but also a lot distrust of established religions, those that require us to follow a certain pathbelieve in certain principles, and which involve condemnations and rewards“.
According to Father Giuseppe Pittau, who was also rector of Sophia University in Tokyo during his lifetime, “the Japanese are essentially a secular people, they love traditions, liturgies, occasions to celebrate: but they can’t stand dogmas. It is impossible for us Christians to impose concepts such as original sin, the virginity of Mary, the Holy Trinity. And above all the idea of hell, eternal damnation“. Precisely for this reason, there are more and more “religious associations”, over 180 thousand throughout the country, including real religious sects. In Japanin fact, there is an association “victims of spiritual sales”, founded by the lawyer Hiroshi Yamauchi, which protects and represents thousands of people who have been induced to make purchases or payments. But the problem of the influence of these sects would also extend to the political sphere.
Seven nuns in Japan, exchange votes and money to 176 parliamentarians
According to a survey by Nikkei, quoted by Il Messaggero, 68% of the Japanese interviewed said they were not followers of any religious movement. Among the others, however, 12% defined themselves Buddhist, 2.2% Christian and 1.5% Shinto. In the country, a law dating back to the postwar period guarantees freedom of worship and has allowed the proliferation of sects and religious associations, which can count millions of followers or just a few people. All of them can carry out regular proselytizing activities and also raise funds, on which no taxes are paid and which often finance Japanese politics.
At the political level, in fact, 176 parliamentarians Japanese they said they had ties to some sects, mainly to get more votes. 2 of them also received funding, amounting to around € 300. In particular, we read in Il Messaggero, the Soka Gakkai Buddhist lay association brings millions of votes to the Komei party, currently in government, also providing staff during election campaigns. The Unified Church is also quite influential, to the point of bringing the former private secretary of Prime Minister Kishida from 80 thousand preferences to 165 thousand.
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED