Friday, November 14, 2014

Landmark Decision in Appeal Court in Goto's Case

The initial court decision made on Jan 2014 contained problematic issues.  One of the issues were that Christian minister, Matsunaga's responsibility was not questioned, and the other of the issues was the amount of the damage compensation which was merely around US$45,000 for the 12 years and 5 months  confinement.

On Nov 13, 2014, the high court decision was announced.  Both deprogrammers, pastor Matsunaga and Miyamura's responsibilities towards the Goto's confinement were acknowledged by the appeal court.  And Mr.Goto was awarded 22,000,000 Yen (about US$200,000), which is 4.5times more than the previous decision.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hiroshima couple filed criminal complaint against deprogrammer and family members.

In July 2014, a couple was adbucted againt their will for the purpose of forced de-conversion.  HRWF (Human Rights Without Forntiers) reported in its newsletter in Sep. 2014.

HRWF (11.09.2014) - On July 26th, 2014, two members of the Unification Church in Japan, Mr. and Mrs. S., b oth in their 40's, were kidnapped by their respective relatives under the direction of an Evangelical Minister, Mamoru Takawaza, leaving their two children behind.

Mr. S.'s parents visited his house and picked him up saying "Let's go to the hospital to see our relative." After he sat in the car, they banded his both hands and ankles with cords. They brought him to an apartment in Osaka City and confined him.

Mrs. S.'s parents invited her to their home in Hiroshima City. She visited them with her two children: a son (8 years old) and a daughter (3 years old). While her mother took her grand-daughter out for shopping, she stayed with her son asleep at home. Suddenly, male relatives including her father attacked her. They tied her hands and ankles with cords, wrapped her into a sleeping bag and banded the sleeping bag with strings. In spite of her frantic struggle, they conveyed her into a wagon type car and took her to Osaka City to the same apartment where husband had already been brought, and which was especially equipped for their confinement.

While taken into the flat, she screamed and the neighbors called the police. When the police came to the apartment, her father and Minister Takazawa persuaded them that this was just a "talk" between family members about her religious affiliation with the Unification Church and the police did not do anything to rescue her at this point.

Mr. and Mrs. S. had been deprived of their mobile phones by their relatives, so they could not contact outside people. However, two days later on 28th July, Mrs. S. managed to send a distress email to members of the Unification Church (UC) in Hiroshima asking them for rescue. Those members went to the police and showed them her e-mail. The police promised to investigate but after Minister Takazawa and Mr. and Mrs. S.'s fathers gave their explanation of the situation, the police concluded that this was "not a case".

On July 31st at midnight, Mrs. S. managed to make an emergency call to the police using her mother's mobile phone while she was asleep and asked for rescue saying she was confined with her husband by five or six persons. The police then had to act and finally five or six policemen went to the apartment. They found that the couple was actually confined and that the situation was actually a criminal case. The victims were released from the apartment and were able to go home and pick their children up safely.

The couple's rescue was only due to the luck of Mrs. S. in getting access to a mobile phone and being able to make a distress call to the police direct. All the previous cases of abduction and confinement did not have this opportunity and the Japanese police have turned a blind eye on these abuses.

On Nov 7, 2014, the Unification Church officially announced that Mr. & Mrs. S lodged a criminal complaint to the Hiroshima Police.関連資料/プレスリリース-神戸市の牧師等を刑事告訴/

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Appeal Court Decides Goto's Case on 13 Nov 2014.

On Jan 28, 2014, the Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of Toru Goto who was kidnapped and confined for 12 years and 5 months for the purpose of forceful de-conversion.  Both the plaintiff and defendants appealed to the Tokyo High Court.

The first session in the appeal court was held on 5 June 2014.

Today on 21 Aug 2014, the High Court concluded the case and announced that the verdict would be handed down on 13 Nov 2014 2:30 pm.

Information source:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Housewife in Osaka Disappeared and still Missing

Here's the 3rd case of abduction and forced confinement in July 2014.  First 2 cases were reported in the following article.

Case 1:  3 Abduction Cases Occurred in Japan in July, 2014
Case 2:  56-Year-Old Housewife Kidnapped in Aichi

Case 3: Housewife in Osaka Disappeared and still Missing
A housewife (Mrs. M) in Osaka disappeared on July 26, 2014, and she is still missing.  From the situation of the disappearance, it is believed that her husband and child are confining her.      (End of quote)


In Case 1,  it was one of the rare cases that Japanese police rescued the victims.  Police raided on the confinement site because the victim could make a police emergency call using her family member's mobile phone.  Her mobile phone was confiscated by the captors.  It is not known how she could manage to use the family member's mobile phone. 

Police should investigate and indict the captors including 2 Christian ministers.  

At this moment (Aug 5, 2014), 2 people are believed to be confined for forced de-conversion.

One is Mr. Masato Ishibashi, who disappeared at the beginning of Jan. 2014 .  More than 7 months have passed since then.  HRWF (Human Rights Without Frontier Internationl, Brussel) 's representative vistted Japan earlier this year, and asked Japanese police to meet Masato confidentially to confirm his will and rescue him if it was done against his will.  The police refused the rqeuest.

HRWF documented all the conversation with the police and submitted the report to the UN Human Rights Committee.  The details of the report can benn seen in the following link.  (Scroll down until you see English texts after clicking on the link.)

 Another missing person is Mrs. M.  (as mentioned above). 


Monday, August 4, 2014

56-Year-Old Housewife Kidnapped in Aichi

In July, 2014, 3 abduction and forced confinement cases occurred in Japan.  All the victims were the Unification Church members.  The first case (Case 1) was already reported in the previous article. 

Here's the 2nd case.

Case 2: 56-year-old housewife kidnapped in Aichi

Mrs. K. had an aborted attempt of abduction and forced confinement in the past, and she and her husband made a family reconciliation that her husband would not abduct and confine her.  Nevertheless, as she detected a whiff of abduction in the morning on July 15, she tried to escape.  When she left home early in the morning on that day, her husband and daughter found her.  They grabbed her arms and pushed her back home, she was placed under surveillance at home.

 When she was told to move to another place,  she resisted by holding on the furniture.  But  she was overpowered by men and pushed into a car and taken to her daughter's house, and then she was confined there.

Her husband and family members demanded that she should meet Christian minister Mkoto Sugimoto.  Sugimoto belongs to the United Church of Christ in Japan, and famous for anti-Unfication Church activities.  Mrs. K refused the demand, but family members just stubbornly insist on her seeing the minister.  In order to solve the deadlock, she had no choice but to agree to meet Sugimoto.  It seems that family members thought that if Mrs. K met Sugimoto, she would easily abandon her faith.

She was taken to Sugimoto's house 3 times in total, and she was shown videos and books which are critical to the Unification Church.  Also she underwent Sugimoto's relentless persuasion.  Mrs. K. has not changed.  After 10 days of her confinement, her family members felt like they reached the limit, and gave up the plan to de-convert Mrs. K and released her.

In this kind of case in the past, victims were not normally released until they abandoned their faith.  Didn't Sugimoto know that Mrs. K was forcefully taken to his place?  Mrs. K's family was restoring the relationships, but destroyed by this event.  How does Sugimoto take responsibility for this outcome?

Sugimoto once said that  there are many cases that family fall apart and parents-children relationships are deeply destroyed after making the religious members leave the church. 

Case 3 will be uploaded later.  Please come back.

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3 Abduction Cases Occurred in Japan in July, 2014

According to the website of the Japanese Victims Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion, 3 abduction cases occurred in July 2014.  Today's article is the translation from  from the website.

Case 1: Family of 4 abducted in Hiroshima.
The victims are still under unstable condition, so only the following information is available  at the moment.

A couple and 2 children (8 y/o, and 3 y/o), who  belonged to the Unification Church were abducted separately* by their family members in Hiroshima, and transferred to an apartment in Osaka separately on different routes, and confined for the purpose of forcible de-conversion.
* The husband was abducted by his family members, and the wife was abducted by her family members. 
2 people appeared at the apartment .  One was a Christian minister, Mamoru Takazawa of Kobe Makoto Church, who was suspended the indictment of  criminal charges of  kidnapping UC members twice in the past.  The other was Atsuyoshi Ojima, who was a butler of  Nishi-Nippon (West Japan) Lutheran Church.

The couple was held in the apartment for 5 days, and had to endure forcible attempt of de-conversion for 5 hours everyday.

On the 6th day, 31 July 2014, the wife, whose mobile phone was confiscated managed to use her family member's mobile phone and called 110 (police emergency number).  The police raided on the apartment in 10 minutes, and the police rescued the couple.

 I will translate the Case 2 & 3 as soon as I can, probably tomorrow.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Toru Goto Awarded 4,830,000 Yen (US$48,000)

Jan 28., 2014 Tokyo

Tokyo District Court ruled against Toru Goto's defendants and deprogrammer.  Toru Goto was awarded 4,830,000 Yen (US$48,000) in damage in total. 

Toru Goto was kidnapped and confined by his family members, and he was released on Feb 10, 2008 after 12 years and 5 months.  After 3 years of hearing, the court issued a ruling today.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Judgement Day of the Goto's Court Case

Today is the judgement day of the Toru Goto's court case. The session will start at the court room 709 at 3pm at the Tokyo District Court.  I'm not in Tokyo to witness the  judgement.

I will post the results as soon as I can.