The Words of the Tokuno Family

Unification Church leader in Japan Eiji Tokuno resigns after church-member arrests

July 13, 2009
Japan Economic Newswire
Asahi Shimbun

The head of the Unification Church in Japan said Monday he will resign to take responsibility for stirring public concern after some church members were arrested and indicted for allegedly selling expensive personal seals by telling people they would suffer bad fortune if they did not buy the items.

During a press conference in Tokyo, Eiji Tokuno, 54, denied any church involvement in the case, saying it does not supervise its followers' economic activities.

But he said he will step down to "take moral responsibility" over the case involving Shinsei, a Tokyo-based company that sell seals that are commonly used as a signature or identification in the country. Gentaro Kajikuri, a 72-year-old executive member of the church, will succeed him in the post, he said.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Shinsei and the Unification Church were closely linked as Shinsei's sales performance and other details were reported to the church.

The Tokyo police raided the church and arrested the Shinsei president and six others in June for allegedly selling seals priced at hundreds of thousands of yen after telling people they would have bad fortune and terrible things could happen unless they bought the seals. 

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