The church says Abe’s murder mother was a member of the Unification Church


Tetsuya Yamagami, who is suspected of killing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is taken to a prosecutor at the Nara Prefectural Police Station in Nara Prefecture, in this photo taken by Kyodo on July 10, 2022. Credit Kyodo via REUTERS

The mother of a man arrested for the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a member of the Unification Church, the Japanese Prime Minister of the Church said on Monday.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, approached Abe in an election speech on Friday and was identified by police as a suspect who fired. The attack was videotaped and shocked a country where gun violence was rare.

Mr Yamagami believed that Prime Minister Abe had promoted a religious group whose mother made a “huge donation,” Kyodo News quoted a source. Yamagami told police that his mother went bankrupt due to a donation, and the Yomiuri Shimbun and others reported.

Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of the Japan branch of the Unification Church of the World Peace, known as the Unification Church, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo that Yamagami’s mother was a member of the church.

Tanaka refused to comment on the donation because of ongoing police investigations.

Reuters could not determine if the mother belonged to another religious group.

Police confirmed that Yamagami had a grudge against a particular organization, but did not name him.

Neither Abe nor the man arrested for the shooting was a member of the church, Tanaka said. Prime Minister Abe was not an adviser to the church, Tanaka said, adding that adding a church would help police in the investigation if asked to do so.