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Suspected Abe assassin's notebook details grudge against religious group

Suspect Tetsuya Yamagami is seen while he is sent from Nara Prefectural Police's Nara Nishi Police Station to prosecutors in the city of Nara on July 10, 2022. (Mainichi/Daiki Takikawa)

NARA -- The man accused of murdering former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe detailed his grudge against a religious group in a notebook confiscated by police after the July 8 incident, a source close to the investigation has told the Mainichi Shimbun.

    The 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, allegedly shot the 67-year-old Abe when he was giving a stump speech for a candidate in the House of Councillors election in the city of Nara. Yamagami has been sent to prosecutors on suspicion of murder.

    The suspect has apparently told investigators that his hostility toward the religious organization led to a grudge against the former PM. Nara Prefectural Police are carefully investigating the content of the notebook, believing it could be evidence of Yamagami's motive.

    Prefectural police confiscated dozens of items including five likely homemade pistols, the notebook and a computer when they searched the suspect's home on the night of July 8.

    According to one source, Yamagami has told investigators, "My mother made a huge donation to the religious organization and went bankrupt. I began to target Abe because I thought he was promoting the group around the country."

    (Japanese original by Yuhi Yoshikawa, Nara Bureau)

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