The man accused of gunning down Shinzo Abe believed the former Japanese prime minister was linked to a religious group he blamed for breaking up his family and causing his mother’s bankruptcy, police said.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, told police his original intention was to attack the leader of the group — which authorities declined to name, The Guardian reported.
“My mother got wrapped up in a religious group and I resented it,” the Kyodo news agency and other media quoted him as telling police.
Initial reports said Yamagami believed Abe was tied to a “specific organization” but did not describe its religious nature. The group has not been named.
Police also revealed that Yamagami, an unemployed former member of the Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force, spent months planning the attack, and hit up other locations where Abe campaigned, including the city of Okayama more than 120 miles from Nara on Thursday. He told police that he had not targeted the politician because he disagreed with his politics.
Yamagami had considered a bomb attack before opting for a gun, according to public broadcaster NHK. In a search of his home Friday, police found items believed to be explosives and homemade guns, including ones similar to the weapon used in the attack, according to Kyodo news..
Abe’s body returned to his home in Tokyo Saturday as the country continued to receive condolences from leaders around the world. Elections to the country’s upper house remain scheduled for Sunday, with Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party expected to do well.
The country’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, is an Abe protege and paid homage to the fallen leader at his home on Saturday.
With Post Wires