The man who shot and killed former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told police he initially planned to attack a leader of a religious group, Japanese media reported Saturday, citing police sources.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, has also said he held a grudge against a “specific organization” — possibly the religious group — that he believed had ties to Abe, Kyodo News reported, citing police. The religious leader was not identified in the report.
Abe, 67, died Friday morning after being shot from behind during a campaign speech near a train station in western Nara prefecture.
Yamagami was arrested where he was wielding a homemade gun. He has denied committing the crime because he was against Abe’s political beliefs, police said.
He also had no idea what he wanted to do in life after high school, and had quit his job two months ago because he felt “tired,” The Japan Times reported.
Meanwhile, police raided his apartment in Nara on Friday and recovered explosives and homemade weapons, the report said. Yamagami, who attended a public high school in Nara Prefecture, wrote in his graduation yearbook that he “had no idea” about what he wanted to be in the future.
According to government officials, he had served as a maritime self-defense officer at the Kure base in Hiroshima prefecture in 2005.
In 2020, he worked at a manufacturing company in the Kansai region, but in April of this year, he told the company he wanted to quit because he was “tired” and left the job the following month, it added.
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