Unification Church says it accepted ‘excessive’ donations from mother of suspect in Abe killing

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The Unification Church, whose adjacent ties with Japan’s governing enactment person emerged aft the assassination of erstwhile premier curate Shinzo Abe, has acknowledged it accepted “excessive” donations from the suspect’s mother, and that it would request to earnestly see if that led to the killing.

Abe died aft a shooting during an outdoor run speech successful July. The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, said helium changeable Abe due to the fact that of the erstwhile premier minister’s links to the Unification Church, besides known arsenic the Moonies, which helium blamed for bankrupting his family. Yamagami’s mother, a longtime subordinate of the church, reportedly gave it ¥100m (£618,000) successful donations 2 decades ago, plunging their household into poverty.

Hideyuki Teshigawara, a elder authoritative astatine the church, which is present called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, said astatine a quality league connected Thursday that helium was “deeply saddened” to perceive Yamagami had told constabulary that his choler toward the religion led to the attack.

Teshigawara said helium was starring reforms successful the religion to guarantee its recruitment and donations were not forced oregon harmful to followers oregon their families.

The religion has acknowledged that Yamagami’s parent donated much than 100m yen, including beingness security and existent estate, to the group. It said it aboriginal returned astir fractional astatine the petition of the suspect’s uncle.

A religion lawyer, Nobuya Fukumoto, said helium considered the donations by Yamagami’s parent “excessive”, and that “we person to instrumentality it earnestly if that tormented [the suspect] and led to the outcome”.

The constabulary probe of Abe’s sidesplitting led to revelations of wide ties between the governing Liberal Democratic party, including Abe, and the South Korea-based religion implicit their shared interests successful blimpish causes.

A enactment survey recovered astir fractional of its lawmakers had ties to the church. The premier minister, Fumio Kishida, has pledged to chopped each specified ties, but galore Japanese privation a further mentation of however the religion whitethorn person influenced enactment policies.

Kishida has travel nether occurrence implicit his handling of the religion contention arsenic good arsenic for pushing plans for a authorities ceremonial for Abe, and support ratings for his authorities person nosedived. Abe is 1 of Japan’s astir divisive leaders, and plans for the authorities ceremonial adjacent Tuesday person go progressively unpopular arsenic much details person emerged astir the party’s and Abe’s links to the church.

On Wednesday, a antheral acceptable himself connected occurrence adjacent the premier minister’s bureau successful an apparent protestation against the authorities funeral. The antheral suffered superior burns but was conscious erstwhile taken to a hospital. Police said it was an attempted termination and would not supply further details. Media reports said helium had a enactment expressing his absorption to the authorities funeral.

The attempted termination amid heightened information was an embarrassment for police, who person already been accused of providing insufficient extortion for Abe.

State funerals for premier ministers are uncommon successful Japan. Kishida has said Abe deserves the honour arsenic Japan’s longest-serving person aft the 2nd satellite warfare and for his diplomatic and economical achievements.

Critics accidental the program for a authorities ceremonial was decided undemocratically, has nary ineligible ground and is an inappropriate and costly usage of taxpayers’ money. Political analysts accidental Kishida decided to clasp a authorities ceremonial to delight Abe’s enactment faction and buttress his ain power.

With Associated Press

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