The opposition Japanese Communist Party on Thursday launched a probe into lawmakers' ties to the Unification Church after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shed light on such links, including those involving ruling Liberal Democratic Party members.

At the first meeting of the JCP's investigative team, Akira Koike, head of the party's Secretariat, said cases of "collusion" between lawmakers, including those from the LDP, and the religious group have been brought to light.

Alleging that politics played a role in the Unification Church changing its name to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in 2015 in Japan, Koike said the team will look into whether there was collusion or administrative problems in the episode.