Church shocked by news of Abe’s murder, suspect’s alleged animosity – The Henry Club

“There is a huge difference between resentment towards our union and the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe,” Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the Japan office of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, told a news conference on Monday.

“We are struggling to understand why this happened. We will fully cooperate with the police to expose his motives.”

Abe’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, who served as prime minister from 1957 to 1960, was targeted for assassination in the final year of his premiership, although he escaped being stabbed six times.

“I thought former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi had contributed to the expansion of (the religious group), and I thought about killing his grandson, former Prime Minister Abe,” the 41-year-old suspect said. Tetsuya YamagamiTold investigators, NHK reported.

Yamagami reportedly said, “I had a grudge against a particular religious group, and I thought former Prime Minister Abe had a close relationship with this group.” “My mom made a big donation by joining a group and my family life was in turmoil.”

Yamagami has not been formally charged, but is being investigated on suspicion of murder. admitted to shooting Abe On Friday, in Nara town where the former leader was giving a campaign speech.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm which group Yamagami was referring to, or any ties between Abe and any group suspected of harboring hatred.

However, on Monday the president of the Unification Church’s Japan office said Yamagami’s mother was a member, attending its events once a month.

But Yamagami himself was never a member of the church, Tanaka said in a statement.

In a press conference later on Monday, Tanaka said he learned that the suspect’s mother was experiencing financial difficulties around 2002, but added: “We don’t know what the reasons were or whether they were due to family circumstances.” There were reasons.” how it affected

CNN has not been able to trace Yamagami’s mother for comment, nor to determine whether she has legal representation, nor to confirm whether she was affiliated with the church – a group known as the South Known for being based in Korea. was established and has gained worldwide fame for its mass weddings, including at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Who is Tetsuya Yamagami?  What do we know about the man suspected of shooting Shinzo Abe?

Tanaka also denied that Abe’s grandfather had any role in the expansion of the Unification Church, saying that Kishi “did not take any special measures or exert any particular influence on the spread of the religion.”

Tanaka said the church had received a message of support at an event organized by Abe, but the former prime minister was not a registered church member, nor did he sit on its advisory board, Tanaka said.

What is Unification Church?

The Unification Church, originally known as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, was founded in 1954 by Moon Sun-myung. It rose to prominence in an era of turmoil in South Korea in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Time was changing from a poor country torn by civil war to one of the most modern economies in the world.

By the 1980s the church had a global reach and is still prominent in parts of Asia today. It continues to make international headlines for its mass weddings, in which thousands of young couples tie the knot at the same time, with some of the bride and groom meeting each other for the first time on their wedding day.

A man prays at the site where former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot during an election campaign in Nara on July 8.

Moon, known by followers as “Father Moon”, died in South Korea in 2012 at the age of 92.

Who is Tetsuya Yamagami?

Details of the murder continue to emerge as Japanese authorities investigate suspect Tetsuya Yamagami.

Yamagami told investigators he had “made up his mind” to kill Abe a year ago, according to NHK, citing “investigative sources” on Monday.

According to NHK, Yamagami used a household weapon, which he practiced shooting in the mountains a few days before the murder. According to NHK, Yamagami called the firearms “suited to his goal of killing Abe without fail”.

Nara police said on Monday that Yamagami may have conducted a test shooting on Thursday morning, a day before Abe’s murder, against a building of “a certain group” in Nara Prefecture.

CNN visited the building on Monday, where the entrance was clearly marked with a sign that read, “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.”

The building was covered with a blue tarpaulin and guarded by two police officers, who confirmed it was the site of a “dangerous” incident involving a gunshot, which is being investigated.

CNN did not see bullets on the front of the building and there was no clear confirmation from police that Yamagami was involved in the incident under investigation.

Nara police investigators told CNN on Monday that Yamagami is cooperating, but has shown no remorse.

Asked if the suspect was acting alone, the police said they were investigating all possibilities.

Abe’s funeral was performed by his widow Aki Abe at a temple in Tokyo on Tuesday, with family members and those close to the former prime minister limited in attendance.