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Reforms fail to boost support for Japan's cabinet amid questions over church - study

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TOKYO — Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet reshuffle appeared to do little to assuage concerns among voters amid anger over ties to the ruling party's Unification Church, a media group said Friday. A poll showed.

Established in South Korea in the 1950s and famous for its mass weddings, the church's ties to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's murder suspected that his mother had gone bankrupt a month later. , became a big responsibility for Kishida. Promoted the group and accused Abe of promoting it.

With approval ratings already at their lowest since taking office in October, Kishida on Wednesday dismissed some ministers linked to the group.

However, in a poll by the conservative Yomiuri Daily, more than half of the respondents, or 55% of him, said Mr. Kishida's response was inadequate. Overall approval ratings for his cabinet have dropped to 51%, a six-point drop for him from the Aug. 5-7 poll.

About 86% of respondents to a Nikkei Nikkan poll said Kishida's actions had not "dissolved concerns" about the organization's ties to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). said no, but the Cabinet's approval rating has stabilized at 57%.

When asked about public opinion polls, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said the government would listen carefully to public opinion and respond accordingly.

Kishida said at a press conference on Wednesday that he had instructed all new members to reconsider their ties with the church after announcing the new cabinet, but the political party influences the policy of

About a dozen LDP politicians have disclosed ties to the church or affiliated organizations since Abe was killed.

Several members of the new cabinet said they had ties to the group in the past, including attending events and donating to related groups.

Kishida has chosen experienced ministers to deal with what he calls the most difficult crisis in decades, including soaring prices and rising tensions with China over Taiwan. He said.

But he said he selected only those who agreed to "review" their relationship with the church.

Taro Kono, the newly appointed digital minister who also oversees consumer affairs, told reporters that the government will take steps to investigate commercial activities and fundraising by some religious groups this month. said it plans to set up a committee. (Reporting by Elaine Lies and Rocky Swift; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Robert Birsel)