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Motive Behind Assassination Of Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Revealed


The motive behind the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday was reportedly not politically motivated and comes from a more personal grudge. Tetsuya Yamagami, the 41-year-old suspect was said to have harbored a grudge against a religious group that he believed was associated with Abe. The alleged assassin told police his mother had made a considerable donation to the religious group which caused her to go bankrupt.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, Yamagami blamed the organization for his mother’s hardships. A relative who resided in Osaka Prefecture was quoted by the media outlet, as he described how the suspect had “gone through hard times ever since he was a child” soon after his mother joined the religious group. Police have not revealed the name of the religious organization as investigators are looking into facts to determine the validity of his statements. 

Sources that were interviewed by the media said Yamagami lived in a home in Nara with his parents, an older brother and a younger sister. His mother was widowed during Yamagami’s younger years and took over his father’s construction company. It was then that his mother started to fully commit herself to religious activities and donated significant amounts of money to the group. 

At the time, Yamagami attended a Nara prefectural high school, which was considered to be a school for the “elite” where its graduates are accepted into prestigious universities. But Yamagami attended technical school and later joined the Maritime Self-Defense force in 2002.

Some relatives said joining the religious group could have been his mother’s way of trying to cope and find answers. They said perhaps she may have felt strong insecurity as to how to sustain her family’s future. At some point, Yamagami’s family became so hard up that a relative had to send food and money to enable them to cover their living expenses. 

The family construction business was dissolved in 2009 and his mother was declared bankrupt by the Nara District Court. After Yamagami’s arrest, he told police investigators, “I couldn’t forgive (the group) because my mother continued to pay money to it even after she underwent bankruptcy.”

He denied any opposition to the former prime minister’s political beliefs and said these had nothing to do with his assassination. He said he initially intended to attack the religious group leader but instead decided to go for Abe believing he supported the group. Upon searching the suspect’s home, police recovered several homemade weapons along with other possible explosives. Yamagami confessed to manufacturing multiple pistols and told cops that he initially planned to use a bomb for his plot, but figured to use a homemade gun as he thought a bomb was not as reliable. 

Shinzo Abe Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister official residence on August 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation due to health concerns. Photo by Franck Robichon – Pool/Getty Images




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