Lawyers Rap Unification Church over Abe Shooter's Family

Society

Tokyo, July 12 (Jiji Press)--A group of lawyers on Tuesday criticized Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church, over the bankruptcy of the mother of the man accused of the fatal shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales held a press conference a day after the Unification Church confirmed at its news conference on Monday that the mother of the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is a member of the religious group.

"They seemed (at Monday's news conference) as if they had nothing to do with the matter, although it is obvious that the suspect's mother went bankrupt due to excessive donations," Hiroshi Yamaguchi, who leads the group of lawyers, said.

Yamagami has told investigators that his family was ruined as a result of the mother's large donations to the Unification Church, and that he thought Abe had links with the religious group, according to informed sources.

The Unification Church said on Monday that it was aware that Yamagami's mother went bankrupt, but that it does not know the circumstances that led to the situation. It also claimed that there is no record of the church demanding massive donations after her bankruptcy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press