“Trying to understand how such hatred may have possibly led to the killing is totally perplexing,” Tanaka said.
The Unification Church acknowledged Monday that the mother of the man accused of assassinating former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a member, but that an investigation is ongoing into media speculation that her donations may have angered her son and led to the killing, AP reports.
Police have said the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, told investigators he wanted to kill Abe because of his rumored connection to an organization he resented, which police did not identify. Japanese media reports said it was a religious group, and cited large donations by his mother and his anger over her subsequent bankruptcy as a possible motive.
Tomihiro Tanaka, head of the Unification Church’s Japan branch, acknowledged at a news conference that she was a member, but declined to comment on the specifics of her donations, saying a police investigation is underway. Speaking in generalities, he confirmed some people had made generous donations, but stressed none was forced.
The church is also known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, founded in South Korea by the late Sun Myung Moon.
© Copyright LaPresse