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Abe attackers tried to turn their attention to the Unification Church: Analysts

Tetsuya Yamagami, who was charged with shooting and killing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left the police station on July 10, 2022, to be sent to the Nara City Prosecutor’s Office.

Two weeks after Shinzo Abe’s death, the details of Shinzo Abe’s shootings were revealed, and some criminal psychology experts highlighted the problems surrounding religious groups by targeting the former prime minister. Some believe that they tried to.

Experts believe that the perpetrator Tetsuya Yamagami (41) switched the target of hatred from the Unification Church of the World Peace (Unification Church of the World Peace) to Prime Minister Abe after failing to attack the leader of the group. There is.

Yamagami told investigators that his mother’s donation to the church had financially ruined her family. His Twitter account, launched in October 2019, states that “I hate only the Unification Church” and “The Unification Church’s duty is to take as much money as possible from my family.”

According to investigators, he tried to kill Hak Ja Han Moon, the widow of Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the church, with a fire bomb during his visit to Japan at that time.

In a letter believed to have been sent to church critics shortly before the July 8 shooting, he was “impossible” to kill the family of the founder of the church, and Prime Minister Abe said “my first He wasn’t an enemy. He’s just one of the most influential people. ” A sympathizer of the Unification Church in the real world. ”

Psychiatrist Tamami Katada told him that one of the reasons Abe was targeted was that Yamagami “had to take revenge on him,” even if that meant changing his target. I was involved in the strong anger that made me think. ”

Yamagami decided to kill Prime Minister Abe because he thought he would die by the end of July because he had run out of money. He showed no signs of trying to avoid his arrest shortly after the shooting in Nara, western Japan.

“He may have fallen into despair, and while attacking Mr Abe was the only way to return to the Unification Church, he also elicited criticism of the organization,” Katada said.

A relative of the suspect said that Yamagami’s mother, who lost her husband in 1984, joined the Unification Church around 1991 and donated a total of 100 million yen ($ 726,000). After that, her family struggled financially and Yamagami was forced to give up hope of studying at university.

Mr. Yamagami’s tweet said, “I did my best for my mother” and “I just get miserable in search of my mother’s love.”

Katada interprets it as reflecting the fact that she was torn between feelings of love and hate for her mother and prevented her from attacking her.

Hideo Okamoto, a professor of criminal psychology at Nara Women’s University, wanted Yamagami to sympathize with someone, but he may have deepened his isolation because no one was discussing his problem. Said not.

Okamoto pointed out that Yamagami might have prepared for his death.

“He may have been pessimistic about his life, believing that he would remain unrewarded no matter what he did,” Okamoto said. “He probably tried to fulfill his” unfulfilled desires “by attacking influential figures. ”

Prime Minister Yamagami shot Prime Minister Abe while giving an election speech on the street outside the station. Yamagami was arrested at the scene where police found a homemade gun.

Founded in South Korea in 1954 and known for group weddings, the Unification Church has a controversial reputation in Japan, which has about 600,000 followers.

In the past, the church has been the subject of a series of complaints alleging that people were forced to buy expensive pots and seals.