The world was stunned last week when former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down while stopping at a campaign event on Friday.
Media outlets have since revealed that Abe’s alleged assassin reportedly provided law enforcement with a motive for the crime.
Tied to religious group
According to the New York Post, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami has been accused of murdering the former prime minister with a homemade firearm.
The Post cited a Guardian report as saying that Yamagami told police he was acting out of an animus towards a religious organization which authorities are thus far refusing to name.
The suspect said that his original plan was to target the organization’s leader but he instead killed the former prime minister as he believed Abe was tied to the group.
“My mother got wrapped up in a religious group and I resented it,” Yamagami said according to the Kyodo news agency.
He then went on to assert that the organization had broken up his family and was responsible for his mother’s bankruptcy.
The Post identified Yamagami as a former member of the Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force who is said to have planned the killing for months. This included traveling as far as 120 kilometers to scout other locations where Abe would be.
Kyodo news reported that Yamagami denied having a political motive for his actions and said he originally considered attacking Abe with an explosive device rather than a gun.
Trump remembers Abe
News of Abe’s death was condemned by other world figures, including former President Donald Trump, who recalled the strong relationship he had with Abe.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Trump called Abe “a great man” who “was a great leader,” saying, “We did incredible deals together. We made a new deal with Japan.”
“Japan had a one-sided deal and he brought back some fairness because we had just a terrible group of trade deals with Japan. We renegotiated it. But he was a real friend of mine. He really was a distinguished, incredible person.”