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LDP under Fire for Excluding Diet Chiefs from Unification Church Survey

LDP under Fire for Excluding Diet Chiefs from Unification Church Survey

   Tokyo, Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japanese opposition parties and others are criticizing the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for excluding parliamentary chiefs from its recent survey on ties between its member lawmakers and the controversial religious group formerly called the Unification Church.
   The exclusion of Hiroyuki Hosoda, speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, and Hidehisa Otsuji, president of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, was because the two are not lawmakers belonging to the LDP, according to the party.
   But both Hosoda and Otsuji hold LDP membership. Hosoda has been found to have attended a meeting related to the Unification Church, now called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
   The chiefs of both chambers customarily leave their parliamentary caucuses when they assume the posts because they are required to be neutral.
   But sources related to the LDP said that Hosoda and Otsuji hold membership of the party. Hosoda, who has been elected from a constituency in the western prefecture of Shimane, is on the list of LDP lawmakers posted on the website of the party's Shimane prefectural chapter.

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