The mother of the Shinzo Abe shooter says she feels sorry for causing trouble for the Unification Church

The mother of the Shinzo Abe shooter says she feels sorry for causing 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 he shot Abe from behind On July 8, 2022, expressed resentment against the religious group during investigations by the Nara Prefectural Police.

The suspect told investigators that his mother Went bankrupt after making large donations to the religious group, which ultimately led to the destruction of his family.

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

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Yamagami’s mother had 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 it during that time continues to distort my entire life,” Yamagami wrote in a letter.

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

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After going bankrupt in 2002 the woman continued to donate to the church in smaller quantities, under the principle of “world peace and union.”

On 11 July, the church issued a press release stating that donation amounts are 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 her uncle’s house since the shooting, apologized for causing trouble for the religious group during a recent hearing at the Nara district public prosecutor’s office.

Founded in South Korea by Reverend Sun Myung Moon in 1954, the Unification Church opened its first overseas branch in Japan about five years later. The church had developed tight bonds to the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party, which Abe’s grandfather Nobusuke Kishi formed.

The Japan department eventually became the church’s largest source of income.

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

As Yagami’s remarks thrust the controversial church back into 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 donate too much, he argued that donors were mostly motivated by faith.

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