Japanese Christian leaders are reportedly concerned about the recent organization of the Komeito (Clean Government Party) by the Buddhist Soka Gakkai sect.

The Japanese National Christian Council’s Activity News reported that the development is likely to have a profound influence on the country’s religious situation as well as on its politics.

Ecumenical Press Service, published in Geneva by the World Council of Churches, cited the Activity News observation last month and declared that the party thus far has a 100 per cent record of success in elections.

“All fifteen of its candidates won seats in recent elections to the Upper House of the National Diet and 964 members were elected to various regional councils all over Japan,” EPS said.

For elections likely this year, the party is said to have listed fourteen candidates for the Upper House and thirty-two for the powerful 467-seat Lower House.

Before an assembly of 15,000 leaders last November, Soka Gakkai leader Daisaku Ikeda was quoted as saying that with “Buddhist democracy” as the guiding principle, they should seek to promote “mass welfare” and “to clear up Japanese politics.” The ultimate objective was described as “the establishment of an eternal peace structure for the world.”

The NCC publication described the Soka Gakkai party’s platform in these words:

“Much of its political program resembles that of the Japan Socialist Party—opposition to revision of the National Constitution and testing or use of nuclear weapons, abandonment of the United States—Japan security agreements and proposal for world disarmament. However, its approach to the electorate is basically different from that of the socialist party as well as other parties in Japan. It negates the concept of class, ...

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