The shooting suspect in the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly citing personal reasons for the attack.
The suspected assassin reportedly told police that his mother had made a “huge donation” to a religious body, and he harbored a grudge against the group, which he believed was associated with the Japanese leader, investigative sources said Saturday.
The officials also said that the shooter held no “political grudge” against Abe.
According to the left-leaning Asahi Shimbun:
“The fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not appear to have been politically motivated, investigative sources said.”
“Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, was quoted as telling investigators, ‘It was not because I held a political grudge toward Abe,’” the newspaper reported on July 8.
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Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, who sustained gunshot wounds during a campaign speech in Nara, Japan, died on Friday morning local time.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is suspected of being the man who approached Abe from behind and calmly fired a gun. Multiple videos showed him being tackled by police.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that Yamagami was convinced that Abe had promoted an unidentified religious group that his mother made donations to before running into financial trouble. Yamagami allegedly told police he intended to target a “senior official” of an unspecified “religious group” during Abe’s speech but this person was ultimately not present at the event, the publication revealed, citing “sources close to the case.”
“It’s not a grudge against the political beliefs of former Prime Minister Abe,” an unnamed Nara prefectural police official said.
Here’s what the Kyodo News revealed:
“The police said Yamagami, who came to the venue of the speech by train carrying a fabric bag, has confessed that he committed the crime as he has a grudge against a ‘specific organization’ in the belief that it is linked with Abe. They said the gun used was about 40 centimeters in length and 20 cm in height.”
Here’s what the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported:
“Yamagami […] has admitted to the allegations against him, according to the sources.”
“During questioning, the suspect cited the name of a specific religious group and said, ‘I intended to target this senior official (of the group).’ The named official, however, was reportedly not at the scene at the time,” according to the newspaper, which did not name the group.
“At the same time, the suspect has made nonsensical statements, and Nara Prefectural Police are carefully investigating whether he is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible.”
Explosives and homemade guns were found by the police inside Yamagami’s residence in Nara, The Asahi Shimbun reported via Breitbart:
Nara’s prefectural police department told Kyodo News they searched Yamagami’s residence in Nara shortly after apprehending him Friday morning and “found items that could be explosives and homemade guns.” The Asahi Shimbun reported that police additionally searched a second home in Nara where a relative of Yamagami is believed to reside.
“Yamagami, now unemployed, was working at a manufacturer in the Kansai region covering Osaka, Nara and Kyoto from around the autumn of 2020, but he quit in May this year,” Kyodo News reported, citing a staffing agency employee.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said Friday that “a person with the same name and of the same age as Yamagami served as a member of the [Japanese] Maritime Self-Defense Force [MSDF] for three years to 2005,” according to the Asahi Shimbun.
“He learned how to shoot and assemble and disassemble rifles during his limited-term in the MSDF,” the newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.
NHK published details of Yamagami’s suspected military history on July 8, writing:
He received the necessary education from the Sasebo Education Corps in Nagasaki Prefecture until December 2002, and for the next two years he was a crew member of the escort ship “Matsuyuki” based in Kure Base in Hiroshima Prefecture.
He joined the 1st Service School in Etajima City, Hiroshima Prefecture from April 2004, and retired in August 2005. Also, this person was a “fixed-term self-defense official” with a predetermined term. The “fixed-term SDF” is a self-defense official who has a term of about three years in the case of the Maritime Self-Defense Force after a three-month education period
Here’s the public broadcaster reported:
“Police have been searching the suspect’s home condominium since 5 pm and have seized several suspected handmade guns similar to those used in the case so far. Police are calling on local residents to evacuate because of the risk of an outburst, and are carrying out work in a vehicle to dispose of explosives.”