Shinzo Abe’s killing: Tetsuya Yamagami initially planned to attack religious leader, say Police

The Japanese media on Saturday reported that the man who fatally shot former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has admitted to authorities that his original intent was to assassinate a figurehead of a religious organisation. According to Kyodo News, which cited the police, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, claimed he had a vendetta against a “particular organisation” that he thought was associated with Shinzo Abe. This organisation may have been a religious organisation. The story did not name the religious figurehead.

According to local media citing police sources, Yamagami told police he thought Abe was associated with a religious organisation which he held responsible for wrecking his mother’s finances and severing the family.

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“He (Yamagami) confessed that he had some resentment against a certain organisation and was under the impression that the former prime minister having some connection to it, which led to the act. I would like to avoid further details,”  Kazuhisa Yamamura, the Head of the First Investigation Division, Nara Prefecture Police, told a news conference.

Watch | A lookback at Japan Ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s life

Yamagami shot at Abe on a street on Friday when he was giving a speech at a rally and opened fire from behind. This attack shocked a country with some of the strongest gun control laws in the world.

When police searched Yamagami’s neighbouring one-room apartment, they found comparable weapons and his personal computer. Yamagami was claimed to have used an obviously handmade gun that was around 40 centimetres long. An investigation into the shooting has been started by a task group with 90 members.

Also read | As Abe’s remains reach Tokyo, Japan refuses to bow down to violence; Election campaign to resume today

At the Kure base in Hiroshima Prefecture in 2005, Tetsuya Yamagami worked as a Maritime Self-Defense officer.

He worked at a manufacturing firm in the Kansai area in 2020, but he informed the employer that he wanted to leave because he was “weary” in April of this year. He departed the position the following month.

On the last day of campaigning before voting for the upper house of parliament, which is anticipated to give the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an Abe protege, a victory, campaigning resumed.

After making an urgent trip back to Tokyo on Friday in the wake of the shooting, Kishida has now resumed his campaign tour, stopping in at local voting centres.

On Saturday, a steady stream of mourners travelled to the murder site in Nara. At a table with a picture of Abe giving a speech, there was a line of more than 100 people waiting to place flowers at noon, and more kept coming.

According to the Japanese media, a vigil will be held on Monday, and close friends will attend Abe’s funeral on Tuesday. There was no immediate notification of a memorial service for the public.


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