Over 330 prefectural assembly members had ties with Unification Church

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At least 334 out of 2,570 prefectural assembly members in Japan have had dealings with the Unification Church or its affiliates, with over 80% of them belonging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.

The November survey shows that the influence of the religious group — under increased scrutiny for questionable practices such as soliciting financially ruinous donations from members and for its links with the LDP — is also widespread among regional politicians.

Candidates’ links with the contentious group are likely to be a major focus at unified local assembly elections slated for next spring.

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