Shinzo Abe’s shooter’s mother says she’s sorry she caused trouble for the Unification Church

Shinzo Abe’s shooter’s mother says she’s sorry she caused trouble for the Unification Church

The mother of the suspect involved in the fatal shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly sorry for causing trouble for the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, also known as the Unification Church.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who was arrested immediately after him Shot Abe from behind expressed resentment against the religious group on July 8, 2022 during investigations by Nara Prefectural Police.

The suspect told investigators that his mother went bankrupt after making large donations to the religious group, which eventually led to the ruin of his family.

Before the assassination even Yamagami sent a letter to a blogger who said the Unification Church ruined his life, “destroyed my family and bankrupted them.”

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Yamagami’s mother reportedly made large donations to the church, of which she has been a member for over 20 years.

“It is no exaggeration to say that my experience with this during this time has distorted my entire life,” Yamagami wrote in a letter.

According to Yamagami’s uncle, when his mother left her children hungry and alone while attending church, his nephew called him for help. He said the mother 100 million yen donated (about $1 million at the time) to the church.

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After bankruptcy in 2002, the Woman continued to donate in smaller amounts to the Church, under the principle of “world peace and unification”.

On July 11, the Church issued a press release stating that donation amounts would be determined by individual members.

In Yamagami’s letter, he accused Abe of supporting the church.

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Following the revelation, Yamagami’s mother, who has been staying at his uncle’s house since the shooting, apologized at a recent hearing before the Nara District Procuratorate for causing trouble for the religious group.

The Unification Church was founded in South Korea in 1954 by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and opened its first overseas branch in Japan about five years later. The church had developed close relationships to the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party founded by Abe’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi.

The Japanese branch eventually became the largest source of income for the Church.

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Over the years, the church has drawn controversy for its involvement in business dealings and politics, with some critics accusing it of being a dangerous cult

As Yagami’s comments put the controversial church back in the spotlight, Unification Church Japan representative Susumu Sato expressed concern that church members could become scapegoats for Abe’s death.

While he admitted that some members encouraged followers to give excessively, he claimed that donors are primarily motivated by faith.

Featured image vis Voice of America

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