Suspect ready to die to ‘free’ members of religious group

The suspected killer of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had uploaded messages about his hatred of the Unification Church and his willingness to die to free members of the religious group, sources said.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, told investigators that he resents the Unification Church, officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, because the large donations from his mother to the group had financially ruined her family.

Yamagami’s Twitter handle appeared in a letter he wrote before Abe was shot and killed in Nara on July 8, the sources said. Nara Prefectural Police confiscated the letter sent to a freelance writer from Shimane Prefecture whose blog criticized the Unification Church.

According to the sources, Yamagami tweeted on his account on October 14, 2019, “The only thing I hate is the Unification Church. I have no concerns about what will happen to the Abe administration as a result.

In another tweet dated February 28, 2021, the suspect wrote that Abe’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, had ties to the Unification Church.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if Abe inherited the (Kishi’s) DNA of being lawless,” the tweet read.

According to investigative sources, Yamagami believed that Kishi (1896-1987) allowed the Unification Church to establish a branch in Japan.

The suspect’s tweets also showed details about his upbringing and family life.

“My late father graduated from Kyoto University. His older brother is a lawyer. My mother graduated from Osaka University and became a nutritionist. My aunt on my mother’s side was a doctor. In an environment like this here I grew up a model student,” he tweeted on December 7, 2019.

But in another tweet posted the same day, he revealed the struggles of a difficult childhood.

“Among us three children, my eldest brother had surgery to open a hole in his skull just after he was born. When he was around 10, he lost sight in one eye during another operation,” he tweeted.

“My mother’s attention was always on my older brother. My younger sister did not know our father. I made efforts. For my mom,” the tweet said.

In a comment posted on another online site on September 8, 2020, Yamagami continued to express his hatred of the Unification Church.

“I just don’t like the Unification Church. That’s it,” he wrote.

Yamagami also expressed his willingness to die to crush the religious organization in a message uploaded on December 12, 2020: “It is impossible to destroy the current state of the Unification Church which she built by ruining its members, unless you are at least prepared. lose his own life.

He added, “I will risk my own life to free everyone involved in the Unification Church.”