Japanese police find bullet holes near the Abe assassination site


Japanese police said Wednesday that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had discovered that he believed there were some bullet holes in a building near the place where he was assassinated in western Japan last week. Abe.

Prime Minister Abe, the longest-serving prime minister in Japan after resigning for health reasons two years ago, was shot during a campaign speech near a crowded train station in Nara.

A second shot bullet fired a few seconds after Prime Minister Abe, apparently in response to the first explosion when he turned around, gave him a fatal blow.

Suspect Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested on the spot on Friday. He can be detained for up to three weeks for police investigation before the prosecutor decides whether to formally prosecute him for murder.

Tetsuya Yamagami
Tetsuya Yamagami (R), who was charged with murdering former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was accompanied by the police on the way to the Nara Prosecutor’s Office on July 10, 2022, leaving the Nara Nishi Police Station. (Press / AFP via STR / Jiji Getty Images)

On Wednesday, police found some of what they believed were bullet holes in the walls of a building about 90 meters (yards) away from the assassination site. According to police, they believe that bullets or debris from the first shot hit the wall after Abe barely went missing and stabbed an election vehicle parked nearby. According to police, bullet holes in the wall-to-vehicle match suggest that they were fired from the same weapon.

Police confiscated the homemade gun used to kill Prime Minister Abe when the suspect was arrested. According to police, a 40-centimeter (16-inch) double-barreled gun taped from two iron pipes was designed to fire several bullets per shot. Police also confiscated several other similar weapons from the suspect’s apartment.

Police and Japanese media suggested that the suspect’s assassin decided to kill Abe after seeing reports of his relationship with the Unification Church. The suspect was reportedly upset because a large donation to his mother’s church went bankrupt.

Japan Abe shot
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) fell to the ground in Nara on July 8, 2022. (Kyodo communication via AP)

Shinzo Abe’s assassination sheds light on his and his ruling party’s connection with the Unification Church, known for its conservative and anti-communist attitude and collective weddings.

Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of the Japanese branch of a South Korean-based church, confirmed on Monday that Yamagami’s mother was a member. Mr Tanaka said Prime Minister Abe was not a member, but he may have spoken to a group belonging to the church.

Police examined buildings related to the church in Nara this week after the suspect told investigators that he had fired a homemade gun the day before the assassination to find out how powerful it was. According to police, they found some holes in the wall of an unrelated office next door. The suspect may have believed that it was part of the church.

The assassination of Prime Minister Abe has shaken Japan, one of the safest countries in the world with the strictest gun control. Police acknowledged the possibility of Abe’s security revocation and announced plans to set up a task force to consider safety procedures.

Hundreds of people, some in formal dark suits, filled the sidewalk outside Zoujoji Temple in downtown Tokyo and said goodbye to Prime Minister Abe.

Epoch Times Photo
The vehicle (R) carrying the body of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will leave Zōjo-ji Temple after a funeral in Tokyo on July 12, 2022. (Hiroshi Komae / AP photo)

Mari Yamaguchi

Associated Press