The religious group known as the Unification Church said Friday that it has sent a statement to the Tokyo District Court asking it not to impose a fine for the group's refusal to answer questions by the Cultural Affairs Agency.

The religious organization, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, argued that the agency's exercise of the right to question and seek answers from it was illegal.

The agency has exercised the right on seven occasions since last November. It notified the court of the Unification Church's refusal to answer some of the questions, and the court sought opinions on the matter from the group.

A court judge will decide whether to impose a civil fine after examining the statement.

In the statement, the Unification Church argued that the "violation of laws and regulations" that would justify a dissolution order under the religious corporations law does not include illegal acts under the Civil Code. The religious group said that it was illegal for the agency to exercise the right to ask questions based on that premise.

The group added that it had valid reasons for refusing to answer some questions, referring to cases in which it was necessary to protect the privacy of believers, requested materials did not exist and questions were repeated.

The agency is in the final stages of preparing to ask the court to issue a dissolution order to the Unification Church.

A final decision is expected to be made based on opinions from the Religious Juridical Persons Council, an agency advisory panel, which is set to hold a meeting as early as Thursday.