Japan: Goodness, Beauty & Benefit-But for Whom?

The vast auditorium of Tokyo's Nihon University seats 10,000, but it bulged with twice that many people as local and regional leaders of Soka Gakkai packed the hall to hear an announcement: their religious society will enter the political field in earnest by running 30 candidates in the next election to the 467-member lower house of the Diet.

Japan's political parties were as rattled as if the Emperor had suddenly reclaimed his forsaken divinity. Soka Gakkai, a society of Buddhist laymen, already holds 15 seats in the 250-member upper house, plus some...

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