He said, “His mother was involved in a religious group and donated a large amount of money to it, and he had a strong grudge against her. I targeted Mr. Abe because I thought he was connected to the group.”
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who shot former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (67 years old) to death on July 8, is said to have stated this in response to police questioning.
The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who fired the fatal shots at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (67) on August 8, is said to have told police that he had a grudge against religious organizations. The “religious organization” the suspect reportedly refers to is the Unification Church (currently the United Church of Christ in Japan). Looking back on his life, we found a strong grudge against this organization. A neighbor in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, where the suspect spent his elementary school days, told us, “Tetsuya’s grandfather is here.”
Tetsuya’s grandfather moved here more than 20 years ago. After a while, Tetsuya’s family moved in. Tetsuya-kun was around elementary. He seemed smart, but I had the impression that he was a quiet child. He also had a little sister who was just waddling around. His grandfather ran a construction company, so they were relatively wealthy.
The Death of His Father as a Turning Point
The family of Yamagami, who was leading a happy and trouble-free life, was suddenly struck by tragedy. A resident continues.
The suspect’s father died suddenly.
The death of the father changed the family’s situation drastically. The death of the family’s breadwinner worsened the family’s financial situation. Perhaps to drown her sorrows over her husband’s death, the mother joined a religious group. It is believed that this was the Unification Church. When her grandfather also passed away, she left the family home and became involved in religion.
His mother is believed to have donated a large sum of money to the organization. After leaving the family home, the four of them, including Yamagami’s older brother, lived together, but their life was so poor that they had no food to eat.
The suspect told the police: “My mother was a believer, and she donated a lot of money to the KANE organization. ” His mother was a believer and donated a lot of money to the church, and then she went bankrupt. He resented that he must be punished. The construction company he was running also closed down.
After graduating from a public high school in Koriyama City, Nara Prefecture, Yamagami moved from place to place and began living alone in the apartment where he shot former Prime Minister Abe. A resident who lives in a nearby apartment said, “He only said hello when he saw him.”
I didn’t know my neighbors, just saying hello when I saw them. The rent was about 35,000 yen. （Sometimes I heard a strange hammering noise coming from the suspect’s room.
Yamakami stated that on the 7th, the day before he shot former Prime Minister Abe, he shot at a facility of a religious organization (in Nara City). In fact, there is testimony from the area around the site that there is a story that a sound like a gunshot was heard around 4:00 in the morning (of the 7th). It is believed that he repeatedly test-fired the gun in order to complete the crime. The gun he used “had a mechanism that fired six bullets at once.”
Resentment against the religious group that drove the family into bankruptcy. Behind the unprecedented crime of taking the life of a former prime minister was the intense grudge held by the suspect, Yamagami.
Photo by： Kei Kato, Masahiro Kawayanagi, Shinji Hasuo, Kyodo News