Japan PM apologizes for party's church links, will cut ties

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says his ruling party will cut ties with the Unification Church following a widening scandal trigged by former leader Shinzo Abe's assassination last month.

Widespread cozy ties between members of Kishida governing Liberal Democratic Party and the church have surfaced since Abe was shot to death while giving a campaign speech in July.

The suspect arrested at the scene allegedly told police he killed Abe because of his apparent link to the church.

Dozens of LDP members have since acknowledged their ties to the church and related organizations.

Kishida shuffled his Cabinet earlier in August to purge seven ministers linked to the groups, but more ministers and their aides have since admitted their ties.

Kishida also apologized over the loss of public trust in politics because of the scandal and his lack of explanation for hosting a state funeral for Abe.

The Associated Press