More than 100 of all the 712 lawmakers in Japan have had some connections with the controversial Unification Church, with nearly 80% of them belonging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday.

In the survey with a response rate of over 80%, 106 had links with the church such as attending events hosted by entities associated with the religious group, which has come under renewed attention following former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assassination last month, or receiving electoral cooperation from its members.

Lawmakers from the LDP, now headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, accounted for 82 of the total, highlighting close ties between the main ruling party and the church, founded in South Korea in the 1950s and identified as a cult by critics.