World Japan PM shuffles cabinet as anger deepens over ties to Unification Church

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TOKYO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday amid growing public anger about the ruling party's ties to the controversial Unification Church, saying the group had held no sway over party policy.

The Liberal Democratic Party's longstanding links to the Unification Church, which critics call a cult, has become a major liability for Kishida in the month following the killing of former premier Shinzo Abe, helping send Kishida's approval ratings to the lowest since he took office in October.

Abe's suspected killer has said his mother, a member of the church, was bankrupted by it and blamed the politician for supporting it. Founded in South Korea in the 1950s and known for its mass weddings, the group has come under criticism for its fundraising and other issues.

Since then, a dozen or so politicians from the conservative LDP have disclosed links to the church or affiliated organisations - such as speaking at events - highlighting a relationship with the fiercely anti-communist church that stretches back to the Cold War.

 
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