Japan High Court judge upholds “FFWPU used members for profit, not religious purposes.”
This has serious ramifications.
The Unification Church of Japan (which now calls itself The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification) is worried about the legal implications of the judge’s 2015 statement, upheld on appeal at the High Court.
This could set a precedent for other former UC members who are seeking compensation for the donations they gave, or the time they worked for the UC without pay, or for damage to their physical health, etc.
The members were recruited for religious purposes, but used for profit.
The FFWPU was ordered to pay $321,400 to the three former members.
The UC / FFWPU of Japan have decided NOT to appeal again.
Translated newspaper report:
Mainichi Shimbun, October 17, 2015 (Hokkaido morning edition)
Lawsuit by former FFWPU / Unification Church followers who were harmed: Appeal court upholds “illegal solicitation” ruling in case against the Unification Church.
The first trial was held at the Sapporo District Court [in March 2014]. Following that, on October 16th in the Court of Appeal at the Sapporo High Court – the presiding judge was SATO, Michiaki – the ruling was given in favor of the three former followers. The judge said they were forced to make donations in illegal solicitation. The former followers sought damages from the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (previously the known as the Unification Church). The FFWPU was ordered to pay a total of ¥38,500,000 ($321,400 US) to the three former followers in Sapporo and Tokyo.
It was pointed out that [at the first trial at the District Court] in March last year, “the judge determined the missionary activities of the (former Unification Church) followers, which included donations and unpaid sales activities, was for profit. Profit was the inferred purpose [of what the followers were asked to do]. It was not for religious purposes, and that was unfair.” Mr. Sato, the presiding judge at the High Court, also upheld this decision.
毎日新聞 2015年10月17日 北海道朝刊