Tetsuya Yamagami, an unemployed man, was arrested in Nara City, Japan, after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and killed on a street during a speech in support of a candidate. During police questioning, he stated that his mother made a large donation to a religious organization, “Family Coalition for World Peace and Unification (former Unification Church),” and that the organization went bankrupt in 2002. The suspect resented this and found it difficult to target the head of the cult, so he instead targeted Mr. Abe, whom he thought had connections.
And as for the Unification Church…
The suspect stated, “It was former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi who invited them to Japan, and he killed his grandson, Abe, because he thought he had a connection with them.”
He also said that he killed his grandson, Abe, because of his connection to the Unification Church.
However, at a press conference held on July 11, Tanaka Tomihiro, president of the Unification Church of Japan, denied that Mr. Abe was involved, saying that he was not a member or advisor of the church, although it is true that Mr. Abe sent a message to an event of the church’s friendship group.
He denied any connection, saying, “This is speculation, but I think he may not have made a distinction between our organization and the friendship group. Since the founders of both organizations are the same, I feel that from that point of view, everything may have looked the same.”
Abe said that he did not send the message to the Unification Church, but to another organization founded by the same founder.
Yamakami stated that the reason he made a homemade gun instead of a bomb was because he did not want to involve unrelated civilians. However, there was an unexpected splash at the building where he was said to have test-fired the gun before attacking Mr. Abe.
The media reported that they shot at a religious facility, while others said they shot at “a building that houses a religious facility” or “a facility affiliated with a religious cult. Some reported that they shot at “buildings that house religious facilities” or facilities affiliated with the cult. At first glance, it seems as if they shot at the Unification Church, but actually they didn’t. The building is located on the second to fourth floors.
The Unification Church occupies the second to fourth floors of this building, and a completely different metal processing company is a tenant on the first floor. The wall that the suspect shot into was on the first floor; in other words, he was shooting at a general business that is not the Unification Church. Even though no one was injured, this is a very disturbing act.
(A reporter from a national newspaper’s social division) Did he bear a grudge against Mr. Abe based on information on the Internet, or was he just an invincible man who became desperate due to social difficulties?
PHOTO： Kei Kato