Abe, like many other world leaders, had appeared at Unification Church-related events as a paid speaker, most recently in September on a program that also featured former president Donald Trump, who spoke via video link.
The suspected shooter, Tetsuya Yamagami, told police that his mother had been financially ruined after being pressured to donate large sums of money to a religious group, according to Japanese news reports.
Tomihiro Tanaka, who runs the church’s Japanese branch, said at a news conference Monday that Yamagami’s mother joined the organization in 1998, then left for a time and returned to the fold this year. A church official said he did not have information about the mother’s donations to the organization and had no record of Yamagami himself having ever belonged to the church. Police have not yet named the religious organization.
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