Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday dismissed allegations of ties to the Unification Church after a media report said that he had met with the head of a group affiliated with the scandal-ridden religious organization in 2019 during his time as policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The Asahi Shimbun reported Monday that, when meeting with a delegation in Tokyo that included former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Kishida had an exchange with Masayoshi Kajikuri, the head of the Universal Peace Federation Japan, a group closely associated with the Unification Church.

Kishida told reporters on Monday that he wasn’t aware of Kajikuri’s presence in the delegation and didn’t remember the exact content of the conversation.