Abe Shooter Initially Considered Targeting Religious Group Exec


Nara, July 10 (Jiji Press)--The 41-year-old man accused of fatally shooting former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the western Japan city of Nara on Friday has told police that he initially considered attacking a senior official of a religious group, investigative sources said Sunday.

The man, Tetsuya Yamagami, who was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempting to murder Abe, told the police department of Nara Prefecture that his mother made a large donation to the religious organization and that his family was ruined as a result, the sources said.

He also said that he attacked Abe, thinking that the former prime minister had a link with the organization, according to the sources.

According to Defense Ministry sources, Yamagami, who worked for the Maritime Self-Defense Force in 2002-2005, told MSDF colleagues at the time that he was worrying about his parent's religious activities.

The Nara police department is continuing its investigation into the shooting, suspecting that Yamagami's frustration at the religious group developed into an intent to murder Abe and this caused him to change his target from the religious group official to the former prime minister.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press