Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old former military man, blamed the former prime minister for supporting a religious group to which his mother donated so much money that she ended up bankrupt
It was not for political reasons, but a personal revenge of an economic nature with a religious background. That is what the man who shot and killed former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday while he was giving a rally in the city of Nara has confessed. This clears up one of the greatest unknowns of this crime that has shocked the Japanese country and shattered the myth of its safety and tranquility.
The assailant, a 41-year-old former military man named Tetsuya Yamagami, has told police that he shot Abe because, in his opinion, he supported a religious group to which his mother donated all his money, according to the Kyodo news agency. Enraged that his mother had been left bankrupt, at first he planned to attack the leader of said religious organization, but finally he ended up doing it against Abe, whom he had followed in several speeches during the campaign for the elections to the Upper House of Parliament. which are celebrated this Sunday. His will was clear: “Kill Abe”, whom he had a “strong resentment” for the ruin of his family.
Although the Police have not revealed the name of said religious cult, everything points to the Unification Church, founded in 1954 in South Korea by the famous Reverend Moon and known throughout the world for its massive weddings. Due to the fervent anti-communism of the ‘moonies’, as his three million followers are derogatorily nicknamed, Abe had close contact with said organization and even participated in some of its events together with his friend, former President Trump.
Shinzo Abe goes to offer the meeting with his assassin watching him in the background behind his back /
Apparently, this relationship dates back to the time of his maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, who was prime minister between 1957 and 1960 and before that he was part of the imperial government that entered World War II. Although he spent three years in jail and was about to be tried as a class A war criminal for atrocities in the puppet state of Manchukuo, where Japan’s invasion of China began, the United States ultimately did not bring charges against him for leading transition to democracy in Japan. Interestingly, Abe’s grandfather was also attacked when he was stabbed in 1960 by a far-right radical.
Other Japanese media also point to the Sanctuary Church, a splinter sect of the Unification Church. Founded in the United States by the son of Reverend Moon, this group is known for its fondness for weapons and even participated in the assault on the Capitol in 2021 supporting Trump. With his crown adorned with bullets, the head of the Shrine Church, Hyung Jin Moon, is currently touring Japan giving lectures.
Another coincidence, or not, is that the headquarters of the Unification Church in Nara is very close to the train station where Abe was shot, whose visit was only announced the day before. Without further explanation, Yamagami has told the investigators that he learned of his presence thanks to the Internet portal of the local Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) candidate and went there by train.
While all these hypotheses are being clarified, more details about the aggressor’s life are becoming known, who seems to respond to the typical profile of the social misfit. Currently unemployed, Tetsuya Yamagami was working until last year in a factory in the industrial region of Kansai, where his city, Nara, and also Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, are located. Between 2002 and 2005 he was part of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces, as the Japanese Navy is called, and there he learned to use firearms. In the search of his home, the Police have found homemade explosives and weapons like the one he used to shoot Abe, made up of a trigger, a detonator and two cylinders taped together like a sawn-off shotgun. Good proof of his antisocial character is that already in his graduation book he wrote that he had “no idea” of what he was going to do in life. Paradoxes of destiny, he will go down in history for having committed the greatest assassination in Japan.
Several people show their respect to the former prime minister before the vehicle that transports his remains to his residence /
After the autopsy carried out in Nara, the body of Shinzo Abe has been transferred this Saturday to his residence in Tokyo. As the doctors who tried to save his life confirmed yesterday, he died from having lost a lot of blood due to the two gunshot wounds suffered in the neck and left arm, since one of the projectiles hit his heart.
While waiting for the funeral, which will take place next week, this Sunday the elections to the Upper House of Parliament will be held in Japan, as planned. Under strong security measures and the shock of the murder of Abe, the most powerful and influential Japanese politician so far in this 21st century, these elections will stand as the strongest rejection of the attack. As Prime Minister Fumio Kishida points out, Japan will thus demonstrate its willingness to “protect democracy without giving in to violence”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.