Tetsuya Yamagami had reportedly hinted that he was going to kill Japan’s former prime minister
The man who is believed to have assassinated Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month had dropped hints about his plans in a letter penned earlier, reports in Japanese media claim.
On Sunday, several news outlets suggested that Tetsuya Yamagami had at some point sent a written message to a critic of the Unification Church – the organization the 41-year-old blames for his family’s downfall. In the letter, Yamagami, among other things, levelled harsh criticism at Abe, who he believed had links to the said religious group.
According to the media citing the letter’s recipient, whose identity has not been disclosed, the would-be assassin had gone so far as to indicate that he wanted to kill the former premier.
Yamagami is quoted as saying he had “felt bitter” toward Abe, who in his eyes had been “one of the most influential sympathizers of the Unification Church in the real world.”
Police are now reportedly aware of the message.
The former prime minister was shot on July 8 while delivering an electoral campaign speech on the streets of the city of Nara.
The politician was rushed to hospital; however, despite doctors’ attempts at resuscitating him, he showed “no vital signs” and was soon pronounced dead.
The suspected assassin, who was in possession of a homemade gun, was pinned down by police at the scene.
Yamagami later revealed to investigators that his mother’s donations to the Unification Church had seen his family go broke, with the suspect’s uncle confirming that the woman had shelled out a total of ¥100 million ($720,000).
The organization, officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, is a relatively new religious movement founded in South Korea in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon, who claimed to be a messiah.