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Assassination of Shinzo Abe

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Assassination of Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe 2022 (cropped).jpg
Abe in March 2022
Locationnear Yamato-Saidaiji Station, Nara, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Coordinates34°41′38.6″N 135°47′02.2″E / 34.694056°N 135.783944°E / 34.694056; 135.783944Coordinates: 34°41′38.6″N 135°47′02.2″E / 34.694056°N 135.783944°E / 34.694056; 135.783944
Date8 July 2022; 4 months ago (2022-07-08)
c. 11:30 am (JST)
TargetShinzo Abe
Attack type
Assassination by shooting
WeaponsHomemade firearm[1][a]
MotiveA grudge against the Unification Church, and Abe's connection with it

Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan and a serving member of the House of Representatives, was assassinated on 8 July 2022 while speaking at a political event outside Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, Japan.[2][3][4] While delivering a campaign speech for a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidate, he was shot from behind at close range by a man with a homemade firearm.[1] Abe was transported by a medical helicopter to Nara Medical University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.[5]

The suspect, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami (Japanese: 山上 徹也), was arrested at the scene for attempted murder; the charge was later upgraded to murder after Abe was pronounced dead. Yamagami told investigators that he had shot Abe in relation to a grudge he held against the Unification Church (UC), to which Abe and his family had political ties, over his mother's bankruptcy in 2002.[6][7] The alleged motive brought renewed interest from Japanese society and media regarding criticism against the UC's alleged practice of pressuring believers into making exorbitant donations.[8] Japanese dignitaries and legislators have been forced to disclose their relationship with the UC to the public.[9] Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled the cabinet earlier on 10 August 2022, but one of the few retaining ministers, Daishiro Yamagiwa, resigned on 24 October 2022 as the approval of the cabinet continued to plummet over the UC scandal.[10] The assassination triggered an announcement on 31 August 2022 that the LDP would no longer have any relationship with the UC and its associated organizations, and would expel its members if they did not break ties with the UC.[11]

Leaders from many countries expressed shock and dismay at Abe's assassination,[12] which was the first of a former Japanese prime minister since Saitō Makoto and Takahashi Korekiyo during the February 26 incident in 1936.[13] Prime Minister Kishida decided to hold a state funeral for Abe on 27 September.[14]

Discover more about Assassination of Shinzo Abe related topics

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Abe also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006 under Junichiro Koizumi and was briefly the opposition leader in 2012.

House of Representatives (Japan)

House of Representatives (Japan)

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors is the upper house. The composition of the House is established by Article 41 and Article 42 of the Constitution of Japan. The House of Representatives has 465 members, elected for a four-year term. Of these, 176 members are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by a party-list system of proportional representation, and 289 are elected from single-member constituencies.

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. As of 2020, Nara Prefecture has a population of 1,321,805 and has a geographic area of 3,691 square kilometres (1,425 sq mi). Nara Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the north, Osaka Prefecture to the northwest, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Mie Prefecture to the east.

Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)

Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)

The Liberal Democratic Party , frequently abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō (自民党), is a conservative political party in Japan.

Improvised firearm

Improvised firearm

Improvised firearms are firearms manufactured other than by a firearms manufacturer or a gunsmith, and are typically constructed by adapting existing materials to the purpose. They range in quality from crude weapons that are as much a danger to the user as the target to high-quality arms produced by cottage industries using salvaged and repurposed materials.

Japanese language

Japanese language

Japanese is spoken natively by about 128 million people, primarily by Japanese people and primarily in Japan, the only country where it is the national language. Japanese belongs to the Japonic or Japanese-Ryukyuan language family. There have been many attempts to group the Japonic languages with other families such as the Ainu, Austroasiatic, Koreanic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Attempted murder

Attempted murder

Attempted murder is a crime of attempt in various jurisdictions.

Fumio Kishida

Fumio Kishida

Fumio Kishida is a Japanese politician serving as Prime Minister of Japan and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) since 2021. A member of the House of Representatives, he previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2017 and as acting Minister of Defense in 2017. From 2017 to 2020, he also chaired the LDP Policy Research Council.

Second Kishida Cabinet (Reshuffled)

Second Kishida Cabinet (Reshuffled)

The Second Kishida Cabinet (Reshuffled) is the 101st Cabinet of Japan and was formed by Fumio Kishida, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and Prime Minister of Japan.

Daishiro Yamagiwa

Daishiro Yamagiwa

Daishiro Yamagiwa is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet. He served as Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization under the cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida from October 2021 to October 2022.

Saitō Makoto

Saitō Makoto

Viscount Saitō Makoto, GCB was a Japanese naval officer and politician. Upon distinguishing himself during his command of two cruisers in the First Sino-Japanese War, Saitō rose rapidly to the rank of rear admiral by 1900. He was promoted to vice admiral during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. After serving as Minister of the Navy from 1906 to 1914, Saitō held the position of Governor-General of Korea from 1919 to 1927 and again from 1929 to 1931. When Inukai Tsuyoshi was assassinated in May 1932, he took his place as prime minister and served one term in office. Saitō returned to public service as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal in February 1935 but was assassinated only a year later during the February 26 Incident. Saitō was the last former prime minister to be assassinated until 2022, with the assassination of Shinzo Abe.

February 26 incident

February 26 incident

The February 26 Incident was an attempted coup d'état in the Empire of Japan on 26 February 1936. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents.

Background

Shinzo Abe had served as Prime Minister of Japan between 2006 and 2007 and again from 2013 and 2020, when he resigned due to health concerns.[15] He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's postwar history.

Nobusuke Kishi, his maternal grandfather, was Prime Minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960, and like Abe, was the target of an assassination attempt. Unlike Abe, he survived.[16]

Abe was the first former Japanese prime minister to have been assassinated since Saitō Makoto and Takahashi Korekiyo, who were killed during the February 26 incident in 1936,[17] the first Japanese legislator to be assassinated since Kōki Ishii was killed by a member of a right-wing group in 2002, and the first Japanese politician to be assassinated during an electoral campaign since Iccho Itoh, then-mayor of Nagasaki, who was shot dead during his mayoral race in April 2007.[18][19]

Relationship between Abe's family and the Unification Church

Abe, as well as his father Shintaro Abe and his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, had longstanding ties to the Unification Church (UC), a new religious movement – best known for its mass wedding ceremonies. Known officially as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), the movement was founded by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in 1954 and its followers are colloquially known as "Moonies". Moon was a self-declared messiah and ardent anti-communist.[20]

Nobusuke Kishi's postwar political agenda led him to work closely with Ryoichi Sasakawa, who had been jailed as a fascist war criminal at the end of the Second World War. As Moon's advisor, Sasakawa helped establish the UC in Japan in 1963 and assumed the roles of both patron and president of the church's political wing, International Federation for Victory over Communism (IFVOC, 国際勝共連合), which would forge intimate ties with Japan's conservative politicians.[21] In this way, Sasakawa and Kishi shielded what would become one of the most widely distrusted groups in contemporary Japan.[22]

Moon's organizations, including the UC and the overtly political IFVOC, were financially supported by Ryoichi Sasakawa and Yoshio Kodama.[23]

When the UC still had a few thousand followers, its headquarters was located on land once owned by Kishi in Nanpeidaichō, Shibuya, Tokyo, and UC officials frequently visited the adjacent Kishi residence. By the early 1970s, UC members were being used by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as campaign workers without compensation. LDP politicians were also required to visit the UC's headquarters in South Korea and receive Moon's lectures on theology, regardless of their religious views or membership. In return, Japanese authorities shielded the UC from legal penalties over their often-fraudulent and aggressive practices.[22] Subsequently, the UC gained much influence in Japan, laying the groundwork for its push into the United States and its later entrenchment.[24]

Such a relationship was passed on to Kishi's son-in-law, former foreign minister Shintaro Abe, who attended a dinner party held by Moon at the Imperial Hotel in 1974. In the US, the 1978 Fraser Report – an inquiry by the US Congress into American–Korean relations – determined that, Kim Jong-pil, founder and director of the Korean C.I.A. an associate of Yoshio Kodama[23] and from 1971 to 1975 Prime Minister of South Korea, had "organized" the UC in the early 1960s and was using it "as a political tool" on behalf of authoritarian President Park Chung-hee and the military dictatorship.[25] In 1989, Moon urged his followers to establish their footing in Japan's parliament, then install themselves as secretaries for the Japanese lawmakers, and focus on those of [Shintaro] Abe's faction in the LDP. Moon also stressed that they must construct their political influence not only in the parliament, but also on Japan's district level.[26]

Shinzo Abe continued this relationship, and in May 2006, when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary, he and several cabinet ministers sent a congratulatory telegrams to a mass wedding ceremony organised by the UC's front group, Universal Peace Federation (UPF, 天宙平和連合), for 2,500 couples of Japanese and Korean men and women.[27][28][29]

In spring 2021, the chairman of the UPF's Japanese branch, Masayoshi Kajikuri [ja], called Abe and asked if the latter would consider speaking before an upcoming UPF rally in September if former US president Donald Trump also attended.[30][31] Abe replied that he had to accept the offer should that be the case; he formally agreed to his participation on 24 August 2021. At the September rally, held ten months before the assassination, Abe stated to Kajikuri that, "The image of the Great Father [Moon] crossing his arms and smiling gave me goosebumps. I still respectably remember the sincerity [you] showed in the last six elections in the past eight years." Kajikuri claimed that he originally invited three unnamed former Japanese prime ministers, but was turned down due to concern of being used as poster boys for UC's mission.[32][33]

According to research by Nikkan Gendai, ten out of twenty members in the Fourth Abe Cabinet had connections to the UC,[34] but these connections were largely ignored by Japanese journalists.[35] After the assassination, Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe's younger brother, was forced to disclose that he had been supported by the UC in past elections.[36][37][38][39][40]

Unification Church practices in Japan

The Japanese government certified the UC as a religious organisation in 1964; the Agency for Cultural Affairs classifies the UC as a Christian organisation.[41] Since then the government was unable to prevent the UC's activities because of the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Constitution of Japan, according to Mitsuhiro Suganuma [ja], the former section head of the Public Security Intelligence Agency's Second Intelligence Department.[42]

According to historians, up to 70% of the UC's wealth has been accumulated through outdoor fundraising rounds. Steven Hassan, a former UC member, engaged in the deprogramming of other UC members,[43] describes these as "spiritual sales", with parishioners scanning obituaries, going door-to-door, and saying, "Your dead loved one is communicating with us, so please go to the bank and send money to the Unification Church so your loved one can ascend to heaven in the spirit world."[44]

Moon's theology teaches that his homeland Korea is the "Adam country", home of the master race destined to rule the world. Japan is the "fallen Eve country". The dogma teaches Eve had sexual relations with Satan and then seduced Adam, which caused mankind to fall from grace (original sin), while Moon was appointed to bring mankind to salvation. Japan must be subservient to Korea.[44][45] This was used to encourage their Japanese followers into offering every single material belonging to Korea via the church.[46]

According to journalist Fumiaki Tada [ja] and other former UC followers, the conditions for Japanese followers to participate in the UC's mass wedding were substantially more difficult than Korean people, on ground of "Japan's sinful occupation of Korea" between 1910 and 1945. In 1992, each Japanese follower needed to successfully bring three more people into the church, fulfill certain quota of fundraising by selling the church's merchandise, undergo a 7-day long fasting, and pay an appreciation fee of 1.4 million yen. For Korean people, the fee for attending the mass wedding was 2 million won (about 200 thousand yen in September 2022). Most Korean attendees were not followers of the church to begin with, as UC considered it was an honour for a Japanese woman to be married to a Korean man, like an abandoned dog being picked up by a prince. If the Japanese followers wanted to leave their partners of the mass wedding or the church, they would be told that they be damned to the "hell of hell".[47][48]

In 1987, about 300 lawyers in Japan set up an association called the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales to help victims of the UC and similar organisations.[49][50] According to statistics compiled by the association's lawyers between 1987 and 2021, the association and local government consumer centers received 34,537 complaints alleging that UC had forced people to make unreasonably large donations or purchase large amounts of items, amounting to about 123.7 billion yen.[51] According to the internal data compiled by the UC which leaked to the media, the donation by the Japanese followers between 1999 and 2011 was about 60 billion yen annually.[52]

Discover more about Background related topics

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Abe also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006 under Junichiro Koizumi and was briefly the opposition leader in 2012.

Prime Minister of Japan

Prime Minister of Japan

The prime minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan. The prime minister chairs the Cabinet of Japan and has the ability to select and dismiss its Ministers of State. The prime minister also serves as the civilian commander-in-chief of the Japan Self Defence Forces and as a sitting member of the House of Representatives. The individual is appointed by the emperor of Japan after being nominated by the National Diet and must retain the nomination of the lower house and answer to parliament to remain in office.

Nobusuke Kishi

Nobusuke Kishi

Nobusuke Kishi was a Japanese bureaucrat and politician who was Prime Minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960.

Saitō Makoto

Saitō Makoto

Viscount Saitō Makoto, GCB was a Japanese naval officer and politician. Upon distinguishing himself during his command of two cruisers in the First Sino-Japanese War, Saitō rose rapidly to the rank of rear admiral by 1900. He was promoted to vice admiral during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. After serving as Minister of the Navy from 1906 to 1914, Saitō held the position of Governor-General of Korea from 1919 to 1927 and again from 1929 to 1931. When Inukai Tsuyoshi was assassinated in May 1932, he took his place as prime minister and served one term in office. Saitō returned to public service as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal in February 1935 but was assassinated only a year later during the February 26 Incident. Saitō was the last former prime minister to be assassinated until 2022, with the assassination of Shinzo Abe.

February 26 incident

February 26 incident

The February 26 Incident was an attempted coup d'état in the Empire of Japan on 26 February 1936. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents.

Kōki Ishii

Kōki Ishii

Kōki Ishii was a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) born in Setagaya, Tokyo. A lifelong reformist, he was murdered under suspicious circumstances.

Iccho Itoh

Iccho Itoh

Iccho Itoh was a Japanese politician who served as the mayor of Nagasaki from 1995 to 2007.

Nagasaki

Nagasaki

Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan.

Shintaro Abe

Shintaro Abe

Shintaro Abe was a Japanese politician from Yamaguchi Prefecture. He was a leading member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He served as foreign minister from 1982 to 1986. He was the father of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Messiah

Messiah

In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias is a saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of mashiach, messianism, and of a Messianic Age originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible, in which a mashiach is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. Χριστός, Greek for the Hebrew Messiah occurs 41 times in the LXX and the Hebrew Bible.

Anti-communism

Anti-communism

Anti-communism is political and ideological opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in the Russian Empire, and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry. Anti-communism has been an element of movements which hold many different political positions, including conservatism, fascism, liberalism, nationalism, social democracy, libertarianism, or the anti-Stalinist left. Anti-communism has also been expressed in philosophy, by several religious groups, and in literature. Some well-known proponents of anti-communism are former communists. Anti-communism has also been prominent among movements resisting communist governance.

Statism in Shōwa Japan

Statism in Shōwa Japan

Shōwa Statism was a political syncretism of extreme political ideologies in Japan, developed over a period of time from the Meiji Restoration. It is sometimes also referred to as Emperor-system fascism (天皇制ファシズム), Shōwa nationalism or Japanese fascism.

Timeline

Abe's schedule

Abe was initially scheduled to deliver a speech in Nagano Prefecture on 8 July 2022 in support of Sanshirō Matsuyama [ja], an LDP candidate in upcoming elections to the House of Councillors.[53] That event was abruptly canceled on 7 July[53] following allegations of misconduct and corruption related to Matsuyama,[54][55] and was replaced by a similar event in Nara Prefecture at which Abe was to deliver a speech in support of Kei Satō, an LDP councillor running for re-election.[56] The LDP division in Nara Prefecture stated this new schedule was not generally publicly known,[57] but NHK reported that the event had been widely advertised on Twitter and by sound truck.[58] Nara police and Satō's campaign staff inspected the site on the evening before the incident, and the head of the prefectural police had approved of the security plan a few hours before the incident; one prefectural assembly member later said, "I thought it was a dangerous place that made it easy to attack former Prime Minister Abe from the cars and bicycles that pass along the road behind him".[59]

At approximately 11:10 a.m. on 8 July, Satō began speaking at a road junction near the north exit of Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara City. Abe arrived nine minutes later, and began his speech at around 11:29 am.[58][57] He was accompanied by VIP protection officers from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department alongside VIP protection officers from the Nara Prefectural Police.[60][61]

Assassination

Positions of Abe (purple) and shooter (blue) at the time of the shooting. Abe's security detail and other individuals are not shown. Not drawn to scale.[62]
Positions of Abe (purple) and shooter (blue) at the time of the shooting. Abe's security detail and other individuals are not shown. Not drawn to scale.[62]

While Abe was delivering his speech, the alleged perpetrator was able to approach within several metres, despite the presence of security.[63] At around 11:30 am, when Abe said, "Instead of thinking about why he [Satō] cannot do it ...",[64] he was shot at from behind with a homemade gun[a][1][69] resembling a sawn-off, double-barreled shotgun capable of firing six bullets at a time.[65][69][70] The first shot missed and prompted Abe to turn around, at which point a second shot was fired, hitting Abe in the neck and chest area.[71][72][73] Abe then took a few steps forward, fell to his knees, and collapsed. Abe's security detained the suspect, who did not resist.[74][75] According to security guards stationed during the assassination, the sound of the gunshot was very different from that of a conventional firearm, reminiscent of fireworks or tire blowout. This may explain the delay of response from Abe's bodyguards after the first round of gunshot.[76]

Treatment

Paramedics arrived on the scene at 11:37 am, and an ambulance later arrived at 11:41 am.[77] Six out of the twenty-four emergency responders at the scene later showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Nara City Fire Department.[77]

Police sources told NHK that Abe was initially conscious and responsive after being shot.[78] A doctor who arrived at the scene said there were no signs indicating Abe was conscious.[79] Shortly thereafter, he was transported to a local hospital by emergency helicopter with a wound to the right side of his neck and internal bleeding under his left chest, arriving approximately fifty minutes after being shot.[80] He was reported to have no vital signs when he arrived at Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, likely due to cardiopulmonary arrest prior to his arrival.[81][2][82] At 2:45 pm, a press conference was held by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who stated that Abe was in critical condition and that "doctors [were] doing everything they [could]".[83]

Death declaration

Abe's wife Akie arrived at the hospital at 4:55 pm.[84] Despite doctors' efforts, Abe was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:03 pm, around five and a half hours after being shot.[5][85][86] He was 67 years old. Hidetada Fukushima, a doctor at the hospital, said the cause of Abe's death was blood loss, despite four hours of blood transfusions that saw the administration of 100 units of blood.[b][88][89] Professor Dr. Hidetada Fukushima said that Abe was hit by two bullets[90] and that one bullet was not found in Abe's body.[91] The police autopsy concluded Abe died from loss of blood after a bullet damaged an artery under his collarbone.[92]

Visitations

Several hours after the assassination, both former prime minister Yoshihide Suga[93] and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno visited the hospital where Abe's body was being held.[94]

The body was subject to a judicial autopsy and departed from the hospital with his widow at 5:55 a.m. on 9 July.[95] Five vehicles carrying various old professional acquaintances of Abe's, including former defence minister Tomomi Inada, took part in the motorcade conveying Abe's body back to his home in Tokyo. At 1:35 pm, the party arrived at Abe's Tokyo residence. On their arrival, Sanae Takaichi, the chairman of the LDP Policy Research Council, Tatsuo Fukuda, the chairman of the LDP General Council[96] and Hisashi Hieda, the chairman of Fujisankei Communications Group and a friend of Abe's, received them. Afterwards, Kishida visited for condolences, and former prime ministers Yoshirō Mori and Junichiro Koizumi, Hiroyuki Hosoda (Speaker of the House of Representatives), Akiko Santō (President of the House of Councillors), Toshihiro Nikai (former Secretary-General of the LDP), Kōichi Hagiuda (Abe's close aide and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry), Tetsuo Saito (a politician of Komeito and the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), and Yuriko Koike (the Governor of Tokyo) also visited for condolences.[97]

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Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture

Nagano Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshū. Nagano Prefecture has a population of 2,052,493 and has a geographic area of 13,561 square kilometres (5,236 sq mi). Nagano Prefecture borders Niigata Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the northeast, Saitama Prefecture to the east, Yamanashi Prefecture to the southeast, Shizuoka Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture to the south, and Gifu Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture to the west.

2022 Japanese House of Councillors election

2022 Japanese House of Councillors election

House of Councillors elections were held in Japan on 10 July 2022 to elect 125 of the 248 members of the upper house of the National Diet, for a term of six years. The elections occurred after the assassination of Shinzo Abe on 8 July 2022. The elected candidate with the fewest votes in the Kanagawa prefectural district will serve for three years, as the district combined its regular and byelections.

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. As of 2020, Nara Prefecture has a population of 1,321,805 and has a geographic area of 3,691 square kilometres (1,425 sq mi). Nara Prefecture borders Kyoto Prefecture to the north, Osaka Prefecture to the northwest, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Mie Prefecture to the east.

Kei Satō (politician)

Kei Satō (politician)

Kei Satō is a Japanese politician who has served as a member of the House of Councillors since 2016, representing Nara Prefecture.

NHK

NHK

The Japan Broadcasting Corporation , also known as NHK, is a Japanese public broadcaster. NHK, which has always been known by this romanized initialism in Japanese, is a statutory corporation funded by viewers' payments of a television license fee.

Prefectural police department

Prefectural police department

In the law enforcement system in Japan, prefectural police are law enforcement agencies responsible for the regular police affairs within their respective prefectures. Although prefectural police are, in principle, regarded as municipal police, they are mostly under the central oversight and control of the National Police Agency.

Improvised firearm

Improvised firearm

Improvised firearms are firearms manufactured other than by a firearms manufacturer or a gunsmith, and are typically constructed by adapting existing materials to the purpose. They range in quality from crude weapons that are as much a danger to the user as the target to high-quality arms produced by cottage industries using salvaged and repurposed materials.

Sawed-off shotgun

Sawed-off shotgun

A sawed-off shotgun is a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel—typically under 18 inches (46 cm)—and often a shortened or absent stock. Despite the colloquial term, barrels do not, strictly speaking, have to be shortened with a saw. Barrels can be manufactured at shorter lengths as an alternative to traditional, longer barrels. This makes them easier to transport due to their smaller profile and lighter weight. The design also makes the weapon easy to maneuver in cramped spaces, a feature sought by military close-quarters combat units, law enforcement SWAT team users, and those concerned with home-defense. As a result of the shorter barrel length, any sawed-off shotgun with a magazine tube will have its capacity reduced.

Double-barreled shotgun

Double-barreled shotgun

A double-barreled shotgun is a break-action shotgun with two parallel barrels, allowing two single shots to be fired in quick succession or simultaneously.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental and behavioral disorder that can develop because of exposure to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, child abuse, domestic violence, or other threats on a person's life. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in the way a person thinks and feels, and an increase in the fight-or-flight response. These symptoms last for more than a month after the event. Young children are less likely to show distress but instead may express their memories through play. A person with PTSD is at a higher risk of suicide and intentional self-harm.

Medical evacuation

Medical evacuation

Medical evacuation, often shortened to medevac or medivac, is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to wounded being evacuated from a battlefield, to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities, or to patients at a rural hospital requiring urgent care at a better-equipped facility using medically equipped air ambulances, especially helicopters.

Internal bleeding

Internal bleeding

Internal bleeding is a loss of blood from a blood vessel that collects inside the body. Internal bleeding is usually not visible from the outside. It is a serious medical emergency but the extent of severity depends on bleeding rate and location of the bleeding. Severe internal bleeding into the chest, abdomen, retroperitoneal space, pelvis, and thighs can cause hemorrhagic shock or death if proper medical treatment is not received quickly. Internal bleeding is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately by medical professionals.

Suspect

Tetsuya Yamagami (山上 徹也, Yamagami Tetsuya), a forty-one year-old living in Nara, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder by Nara Prefectural Police; this later became murder after Abe was pronounced dead. Yamagami was transferred to the Nara Nishi Police Station upon his arrest.[99] He was described as being calm and having made no attempts to flee.[100][101][102] Yamagami had no prior criminal history.[103]

As of August 10, 2022, formal charges have not been brought against Yamagami,[104][105] and he is currently held at the Osaka Detention House for a mental evaluation until November to determine if he is mentally competent to be indicted.[106][107][105]

Personal life

Yamagami was born on 10 September 1980 in Mie Prefecture[108] to affluent parents who ran a local construction business.[109] Described as quiet and reserved in high school,[110][111][112] he wrote in his graduation yearbook that he "didn't have a clue" what he wanted to do in the future.[113][114] After the death of his maternal grandfather, his mother inherited ownership of the family business.[115]

Yamagami graduated from Nara Prefectural Koriyama Senior High School in 1998 with plans of becoming a firefighter.[116][117] Yamagami did not attend university due to his family's financial problems.[118][119][120] His father committed suicide by jumping in 1984, when Yamagami was four years old.[121][116] Yamagami's older brother, who had a longtime struggle with lymphoma,[116] was not able to afford medical treatment; he died by suicide in 2015.[122][123] This tragedy greatly impacted Yamagami, according to his uncle.[124][123]

Yamagami joined the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in August 2002; he was posted to Kure Naval Base and assigned to the destroyer JS Matsuyuki.[125][113][126] In February 2005, while in the military,[116] he attempted suicide in hope of offering his life insurance for his siblings.[124][119][127] In an investigation report written by the JMSDF, Yamagami stated that his "life had been ruined by the Unification Church", and that his "brother and sister are in need", wanting to "help them by giving them my life insurance".[116] He moved to the General Affairs Department at the JMSDF 1st Service School in Etajima.[128] He was discharged from the JMSDF in August 2005 as a quartermaster[125] with the rank of leading seaman.[110]

In October 2020, Yamagami started working as a forklift operator in Kyoto Prefecture for a manufacturer that operated in the Kansai region.[129] There he was described as quiet. He quit in May 2022 after claiming that he was "feeling unwell".[130][113][131] Yamagami was unemployed at the time of his arrest.[130][109]

Motive

Yamagami told investigators that his motive had been personal rather than political.[132][133][134][135] After joining the Unification Church around 1991 to 1998,[c][124] his mother had given the church about 100 million yen (US$720,000), a parcel of land she had inherited from her father, and the house where she lived with her three children; she subsequently declared bankruptcy in 2002.[137][138] She had continued donating to the church following the bankruptcy.[139] A male relative later recalled being contacted by Yamagami and his siblings to complain that they had no food at home, prompting the relative to deliver meals and money for living expenses.

Yamagami blamed the Unification Church for his family's financial problems and held a grudge against the group.[140][141] Researching the church's connections to Abe in the months before the attack, he believed the former prime minister spread the church's influence in Japan.[142]

In a letter sent to journalist Kazuhiro Yonemoto [ja] on 7 July, the day before the incident, Yamagami introduced himself as "Mada Tari-nai" (まだ足りない, lit.'not enough'), a regular commenter under that handle on Yonemoto's blog posts,[143][144] and stressed that he "had spent [much time] trying to obtain guns".[145][146][147]

Kazuhiro Yonemoto is the editor of a blog reporting on problems experienced by the children of religious cult believers.[148][149] The letter was sent from Okayama and did not mention the name of the sender,[150][151] but a "statement of mutual agreement" between Yamagami's family and the Unification Church was enclosed.[147] The agreement arranged the repayment of 50 million yen by the Unification Church, Tetsuya Yamagami's name and address was handwritten on the agreement.[152][147]

In the letter, Yamagami wrote that his "connection with the Unification Church dates back about 30 years",[153][147] he also expressed a desire to kill the entire Moon family but noted that it was unrealistic.[154] He also noted that killing Hak Ja Han, the leader of the Unification Church, or her daughter, would not achieve his goal of getting the Unification Church dissolved.[154] He also wrote that Shinzo Abe was "not my enemy, originally, although I have had negative opinions about him. Abe was just one of the Unification Church's sympathizers who wields the most influence in the real world."[155] Yonemoto found the letter in his home mailbox on 13 July, five days after the assassination.[156] A draft copy of the letter was found on Yamagami's computer.[157][158]

Kazuhiro Yonemoto, who never had met Yamagami before, said: "I think he probably had no one to talk to and wanted to express his feelings to someone. He may have thought I was his friend because I operate the blog he posted on. I understand the suffering of believers' children. But I wish he had consulted with me directly before going that far."[148][159] Yonemoto initially refused to hand the letter over to police, and it was later seized.[147] Yamagami stated that his Twitter account was @333_hill in his letter to Yonemoto.[160][161] The account was made in October 2019, Hak Ja Han was scheduled to visit Aichi Prefecture the same month.[162]

Yamagami posted on Twitter that he was "willing to die to liberate every person involved in the Unification Church", and that he had "no concern about what will happen to the Abe administration as a result".[163][164] Yamagami's Twitter account was suspended from 19 July due to an unspecified violation of Twitter's company policies.[165][166] A Twitter account belonging to Yamagami was suspended in 2019 for violating Twitter's policies on "abusive language, threatening, or discriminatory language or behavior".[162][167]

An analysis of Yamagami's tweets indicates he was very political because of the Unification Church's involvement in Yamagami's family. The most discussed topics among his tweets were "North/South Korea", followed by "gender inequality", "left winger/liberalism" and "constitution/reinterpretation of self-defense". However, when it came to his emotional reaction to each topic, his hatred was championed by the "Unification Church", far away from his "family", then "North/South Korea" and "Shinzo Abe".[168]

Media reported that the difficult circumstances endured by Yamagami and his siblings were very similar to the "shūkyō nisei", otherwise known as the "religious second generations", a Japanese term categorizing children being raised by parents who are enthusiastic with their religious practices while neglecting or abusing their children. Abe's assassination brought the nisei issue under spotlight in Japan's mainstream media,[169] and more nisei victims began to be outspoken of their hardships and the inaction from the government, despite the anxiety to be identified as one of the nisei.[170]

Planning

Yamagami said his initial plan was to assassinate a high-ranking official of the Unification Church, but later decided to target Abe instead.[171][172][173] From around the time his mother went bankrupt, Yamagami wandered around the Unification Church building carrying a knife, looking for an opportunity to kill Hak Ja Han. He planned to kill Han with a Molotov cocktail when she visited Aichi Prefecture in 2019, but gave up because he could not enter the church building.[174]

Yamagami told investigators that he initially considered making a bomb and purchased a pressure cooker to create a bomb, but eventually decided to change his plan after realising it could maim or kill innocent bystanders when it exploded.[175] Instead, he made guns that he "could easily fix on a target".[176]

Yamagami allegedly decided to change his target to Abe after learning of his video speech to an event held by the Unification Church's front organization in September 2021, in which Abe praised Hak Ja Han, the leader of the church.[177][178] He proceeded to stalk the former prime minister at various locations as he planned his attack over a period of several months.[179] On the day before the assassination, Yamagami travelled by Shinkansen and attended an LDP rally in Okayama Prefecture with the intent of killing Abe there; he was forced to backtrack due to entry protocols.[180] After Abe's schedule was changed to allow him to visit Nara City on 8 July, Yamagami kept track of his movements via Abe's website.[181][182][183]

Yamagami's residence is a five-minute walk from Shin-Ōmiya Station; the westbound next stop on the Kintetsu Nara line is Yamato-Saidaiji Station, where the assassination was carried out.[184]

In order to dry his homemade gunpowder, Yamagami rented an apartment between March and September 2021.[185] He later rented a garage in Nara from November 2021 to February 2022 for the same purpose, costing him 15,000 yen per month.[186]

Making homemade weapons was a costly endeavor for Yamagami, who ran out of cash very soon, could not hold down a steady job, and was several hundreds of thousands of yen in debt, which pushed him to proceed with assassinating Abe in July 2022.[187][188]

Yamagami was unemployed after resigning in May 2022, at that time he was 600,000 yen in debt with 200,000 yen in his savings account.[189][190] His one-room apartment's rent was 30,000 yen per month.[188]

Yamagami told police that he had test-fired his homemade gun in a facility linked to the Unification Church on 7 July, the day he went to Okayama to attend Abe's election campaign and assassinate him, he later gave up.[191][192][193] Six bullet holes were discovered by the investigators at the entrance of a building next to the Nara branch of the Unification Church.[194][195][179]

Weapon preparations

Yamagami allegedly built the weapon used in the shooting.[196][197] Police discovered seven homemade firearms similar to that weapon, two of them not finished,[198] as well as possible explosive devices, during a search of his home following his arrest.[199][133][200] They were later seized as evidence by bomb disposal officers after nearby residents were evacuated.[201][202][203]

Yamagami stated that he tested his improvised firearms by firing them at multiple wooden boards with an aluminium-covered tray for storing dry gunpowder that he produced from fertilizer,[204] which were later recovered from his vehicle.[205][206] Plastic-based shotgun shells were also seized by police.[207] Yamagami also claimed that he tested his firearms in mountains in Nara Prefecture.[208]

Yamagami started buying materials needed to make guns and gunpowder in Spring 2021,[160] learning how to make guns and bombs from watching YouTube videos.[198][209] Websites about bomb-making and weapons manufacturing were discovered in Yamagami's browsing history.[210] He told investigators that he originally intended to carry out the assassination using explosives.[180] However, notes obtained from Yamagami's parents' home by the investigators reveal that he did not want to "cause trouble to the bystanders" and believed that an explosive may not kill Abe, so he instead began making his own gun.[211] The gun used in the shooting was fired by a battery igniting the gunpowder with an electrical current.[204]

Idolization

Since Yamagami's apprehension, he has been sympathized and hailed as an icon domestically and abroad. T-shirts which printed with Yamagami's photo during Abe's assassination were being sold on Chinese online marketplace and wore by some Chinese people in public event. This is believed to be because of Abe's historical negationism by denying the Japanese war crimes committed in China, paying tributes to war criminals commemorated in Yasukuni Shrine, as well as making pro-Taiwan statements.[212]

In Japan, Yamagami's family has been receiving a considerable amount of gift money and presents like foods, clothes and books via online gifting website from his supporters according to his uncle.[213] Japanese people cosplaying Yamagami's appearance during Abe's assassination were spotted in events like the rally against Abe's state funeral. These cosplayers were holding cardboards displaying the leaders they were against: Abe, Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.[214] Even before Yamagami was being officially tried, online petition website had received over 8,700 signatures which pleaded for reducing Yamagami's sentence as of 8 October 2022.[213] The preview version of REVOLUTION+1 [ja], a Yamagami biographical film directed by Masao Adachi was premiered in small theaters across Japan on Abe's state funeral.[215] Some theaters canceled the screening after receiving public complaints, citing reasons such as "disrespect of the deceased" and "justification of terrorism".[216] Criminal psychologist Nobuo Komiya [ja] warned that more people began to justify [their radical actions] when dealing with their family and religious issues, and that Yamagami being treated and followed like a revolutionary leader was alarming.[213]

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Destroyer

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Kyoto Prefecture

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Okayama

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Hak Ja Han

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Hak Ja Han is a Korean religious leader. Her late husband Sun Myung Moon was the founder of the Unification movement, also known as the Unification Church (UC). Han and Moon were married in April 1960 and have 10 living children and over 30 grandchildren. In 1992, she established the Women's Federation for World Peace, and traveled the world speaking on its behalf. She is the leader of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, in which she is called "True Mother" and "Mother of Peace".

Aftermath

Effects on the election

Road junction at Yamato-Saidaiji Station on 8 July 2022, several hours after the shooting
Road junction at Yamato-Saidaiji Station on 8 July 2022, several hours after the shooting

At 11:45 am, the Japanese government established a liaison office within the crisis management center of the Prime Minister's Office.[217][218] Kishida, who was campaigning in Sagae, Yamagata Prefecture, canceled his remaining schedule and returned to Tokyo by 2:29 pm.[219][82] According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, all other members of Kishida's cabinet were recalled to Tokyo except the foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, who was in Indonesia for the 2022 G20 Bali summit.[220] Kishida later ordered heightened security for high-ranking politicians in Japan.[221] Officers from the Security Police were deployed to protect Akie Abe after she arrived in Kyoto as a precautionary measure.[222]

Most political leaders cancelled all campaign events for the remainder of 8 July. Campaigning resumed the day after, on 9 July, with major party leaders vowing to not allow violence to disrupt the democratic process.[223][224] The LDP subsequently won a supermajority of seats in the House of Councillors in the 10 July elections.[225]

Effects on media broadcast

NHK General TV, and four of Japan's five major commercial television networks, cancelled or postponed all scheduled programming to broadcast live news coverage for the rest of the day, as did several radio stations.[226][227][228][229] Of the shows impacted, the anime series Teppen—!!! had its second episode, scheduled to air on 9 July, canceled entirely due to the plot of the episode revolving around an attempted assassination.[230][231][232][233]

National Police Agency changes

On 20 August 2022, the National Police Agency announced that rules for conducting VIP protection will be revamped, which will also expand VIP protection training.[234]

Resignation

On 25 August 2022, Commissioner General Itaru Nakamura of the National Police Agency said that he will resign from his post to take responsibility for the shooting incident on Abe. The chief of the Nara Prefectural Police Tomoaki Onizuka also announced his resignation.[235]

Unification Church-related

Responses by the Unification Church

The suspect's account of his mother's involvement with the Unification Church was confirmed by Tomihiro Tanaka [ja], the chair of the church's Tokyo branch, during a press conference on 11 July.[236][237] He refused to disclose the total sum of the donations contributed by the suspect's mother since her admission in 1998,[c] claiming that he was not able to find out the timing and amount of the mother's donations from any records.[236][238] Tanaka also downplayed the alleged close tie between the organisation and Abe, stating that the former prime minister, not being a registered member or advisor, only delivered speeches for their "friendly entity", the UPF.[239][240]

On 14 July, the UC released a statement claiming that before the assassination, they reached an agreement to refund 50 million yen donated by the suspect's mother from 2004 to 2015, and that they have no more record of new donations made by her after the refund.[241] On the other hand, the 50 million yen refunded was again donated to the UC, according to the suspect's relatives.[242]

At a press conference in Seoul on 19 July 2022, Chung Hwan Kwak, a prominent leader in the UC, apologized and stated that the organisation was responsible for Abe's death, saying: "I feel a deep responsibility [for the attack on Abe] because I heard that the motive of the attacker was associated with a grudge against donations [at the UC]. I sincerely apologize," he said. Kwak said that Sun Myung Moon enjoyed a close relationship with Abe's father and grandfather, stating: "Donations from Japan have greatly contributed to Moon's activities around the world". Kwak argued that he tried to reform the UC's Japanese branch and end the practice of spiritual sales, but that Jung Ok Yoo and other church leaders resisted and allowed the practice to continue. South Korean church officials and the Japanese branch, on the other hand, denied Kwak's claim.[243][244][245][246]

The UC claimed that negative media reports related to the assassination led to hate speech and death threats against their followers. According to a female receptionist working at the Shibya office of the UC she has been receiving two to three trolling letters every day, some containing home rubbish and even replacement razors.[247] On 18 August 2022, the church organized a rally in Seoul against the Japanese media. About three thousand followers, comprising a considerable portion of Japanese women married to Korea via the UC's mass weddings, were transported from their facility in Gapyeong County via coaches to participate in this protest. All participants refused to be interviewed by any Japanese media on site, with deliberate intervention from the staff of the church.[248][249] On 21 August, the UC released a statement on its Japanese site which condemned the media's scrutiny towards the organisation's political ties as a witch hunt, demanding apologies to their followers and threatening legal action.[250] On 27 October 2022, the lawyers representing the UC announced that they filed a civil case for defamation against TBS Radio, Nippon TV and the guests who commentated on their shows, Masaki Kito and Yoshifu Arita, demanding public apologies and a total of 33 million yen in damage.[251]

In an interview with All-Nippon News Network, Korean journalist Song Ju-yeol[d] (송주열) revealed that, according to an informant, the assassination had thrown the UC into a state of crisis. Negative attention towards the church could realistically impede their capability to raise the funds needed for operating the organization globally, in which a major portion was contributed by their Japanese followers.[252]

Responses from the Kishida Cabinet

The assassination resulted in renewed public interest into the relationship between the Unification Church and the LDP. On 31 July 2022, Kishida demanded the members of his party to "carefully explain" their relationship with the church to the public.[253] The alleged relationship caused the Kishida Cabinet's approval to drop, by 8% in July according to Yomiuri Shimbun[254] or by 13% according to NHK.[255] Both polls also showed that over 80% of respondents felt that the disclosure by the politicians of their relationship with the UC was insufficient. On 6 August, Kishida announced that he would reshuffle his cabinet on 10 August, much earlier than September 2022 as had been originally scheduled, and that all members of the next cabinet would be closely examined of their ties with the church.[256][257] Taro Kono, the newly appointed Minister of Digital Affairs in this reshuffle, established a "Spiritual Sales Review Committee" in the Consumer Affairs Agency to hold weekly meeting with experts in cult-related frauds, including Masaki Kito of the anti-cult lawyers network.[258][259]

On 24 October 2022, one of the retaining ministers in the reshuffled cabinet, Daishiro Yamagiwa, announced his resignation as the Minister of Economic Revitalization, after being criticised for his past engagements with the UC, announcing his ties with the UC only after the reshuffle to the public, and unsatisfactory responses regarding his participations in the UC-related events such as "I have no memory" or "I have no record" when being questioned by the media and opposition lawmakers.[10][260]

Civil responses

Almost a year before the assassination, in September 2021, the advocacy group National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales sent an open protest letter to Shinzo Abe, after he had sent the video message to an online meeting of the Universal Peace Federation.[261] In the letter, the lawyers protested that his video message constituted an "endorsement," stating: "We urge you to think carefully about this for the sake of your own honour."[262][263]

On 11 July 2022, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward lawyers for the advocacy group held a press conference in response to the assassination. After offering their condolences to Abe, they objected to the UC's claims that it reformed its practices in 2009 after it came under police investigation. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, an advocacy group representative, said that the UC's "explanation that there is no coercion of donations is a lie." The amount of damages reported by victims in Japan has been higher in recent years, the lawyers said, totalling 5.1 billion yen in more than 400 cases between 2017 and 2020. They emphasized that the activities of the UC are inseparable from front groups, including the UPF, they are all part of a "religious conglomerate" working toward the goal of "unifying" the world under their church. The advocacy group released a statement urging politicians to refrain from any actions that express support for the religious group.[264]

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations [ja] indicated that: "Neither administrative bodies or politicians in the administration did anything about the activities of the former Unification Church in the past 30 years".[265]

The National Family Association of Victims of the Unification Church (全国統一協会被害者家族の会), founded in 2003, received a surge of inquiries for helping their family members leave the UC. In June 2022, before the assassination, there were eight inquiries for the association; in July 2022, the number of inquiries jumped to 94; in August 2022, the number exceeded 100.[266]

Because there were previous instances of students lured into the UC via the workers of "CARP" (for Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles), a UC-front organization which was not acknowledged by the university, lingering around the campus, Osaka University erected warning signs in the campus to urge students to avoid cult-related groups like CARP. The signs listed the common behaviors of the workers of such group like asking for personal contact or taking survey.[267] Since 2004, Osaka University provided lectures to all first-year students about the problems with religious cults and how to deal with them on campus. Many other schools, including Waseda University, Keio University and Ritsumeikan University, warned first-year students about on-campus recruitment activities. According to World CARP Japan (WCJ), the Japanese organization of CARP, there are about 30 CARP-circles active in universities across Japan, where they help clean up communities and teach primary school children.[268]

Examination of dissolving the Unification Church

The assassination raised discussion of stripping the UC of its "legal entity of religious organization" status based on Article 81 "Dissolution Order" of the Religious Juridical Person Law [ja] which was only issued twice in Japan prior to Abe's assassination, the first being the Aum Shinrikyo in 1996 following the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack; the second being Myōkakuji (明覚寺) in Wakayama in January 2002 whose top officials had been convicted for employing fraudulent spiritual sales tactics to attract massive donations from their believers.[269][270] The rationales being that the UC was engaging in activities which were "clearly detrimental to the public welfare" and/or "out of line with the purpose of the religious organization."[46][271] Professor of constitutional law Shigeru Minamino [ja] said that stripping the religious status of an organization does not violate the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan, but it would merely strip them of benefits such as tax break enjoyed by registered religious entity.[272] Testimonies from the leaders of the Aum Shinrikyo's succeeding unregistered religious groups, Aleph and Hikari no Wa, stated that their religious activities have not been hindered by the government since the 1996 dissolution order.[273]

Since Abe's assassination, a daughter of the UC followers who suffered financially and mentally has become outspoken of her past experiences of being exploited by the church and her parents. On 14 September 2022, she was arranged by the Japan News Network to speak face to face with the Minister of Justice Yasuhiro Hanashi on air and demanded passing new laws to regulate the malpractices of the UC.[274] On 6 October 2022, she and her husband held a press conference which was interrupted by a message sent by her parents via the UC who accused her of lying pathologically due to her mental illness.[275] By the end of the press conference, she demanded the dissolution of the UC in tears.[276]

On 11 October 2022, the anti-cult lawyers group formally submitted a request for disbanding the UC to the Prosecutor-General [ja], Minister of Justice and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.[277] Initially the Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno responded that the request must be considered with utmost prudence with regards of the precedents.[278] On 16 October 2022, Prime Minister Kishida announced a probe of the UC would be launched regarding the allegations of their anti-social activities, and suggested the possibility of dissolving the UC depending on the report of the investigation.[270][279] On the next day, organizations of anti-cultism and cult victims initiated an online petition demanding government officials to strip the UC of its religious juridical person status.[280]

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Crisis management

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Prime Minister's Official Residence (Japan)

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Chief Cabinet Secretary

Chief Cabinet Secretary

The Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan is a member of the cabinet and is the leader and chief executive of the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan. The Chief Cabinet Secretary coordinates the policies of ministries and agencies in the executive branch, and also serves as the government's press secretary. The secretary is a statutory member of the National Security Council, and is appointed by the Emperor upon the nomination by the Prime Minister. The Chief Cabinet Secretary is the first in line of succession to the Prime Minister, unless the office of the Deputy Prime Minister is occupied.

Hirokazu Matsuno

Hirokazu Matsuno

Hirokazu Matsuno is a Japanese politician who currently serves as the Chief Cabinet Secretary since October 2021. He is serving in the House of Representatives as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.

2022 G20 Bali summit

2022 G20 Bali summit

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Kyoto

Kyoto

Kyoto, officially Kyoto City , is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto forms a part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kobe. As of 2020, the city had a population of 1.46 million. The city is the cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Kyoto, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 3.8 million people.

2022 Japanese House of Councillors election

2022 Japanese House of Councillors election

House of Councillors elections were held in Japan on 10 July 2022 to elect 125 of the 248 members of the upper house of the National Diet, for a term of six years. The elections occurred after the assassination of Shinzo Abe on 8 July 2022. The elected candidate with the fewest votes in the Kanagawa prefectural district will serve for three years, as the district combined its regular and byelections.

NHK General TV

NHK General TV

NHK General TV , abbreviated on-screen as NHK G, is the main television service of NHK, the Japanese public broadcaster. Its programming includes news, drama, quiz/variety shows, music, sports, anime, and specials which compete directly with the output of its commercial counterparts. The channel is well known for its nightly newscasts, regular documentary specials, and popular historical dramas. Among the programs NHK General TV broadcasts are the annual New Year's Eve spectacular Kōhaku Uta Gassen, the year-long Taiga drama, and the daytime Asadora.

Anime

Anime

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National Police Agency (Japan)

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Itaru Nakamura

Itaru Nakamura

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Chung Hwan Kwak

Chung Hwan Kwak

Chung Hwan Kwak, is a South Korean religious leader. He was a prominent leader of the international Unification Church (UC), having been appointed to many leadership positions in Unification Church related organizations by its founder Sun Myung Moon. Since 2002 he had been the Chairman and President of News World Communications, which owns United Press International, and numerous other publications, including the Middle East Times, and Tiempos del Mundo, a Spanish-language newspaper published in 16 countries throughout the Americas. He was also the president of the Family Party for the Universal Peace and Unity, a South Korean political party founded by UC members, one of whose main goals is the reunification of Korea. He was formerly the President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification and has been described as Sun Myung Moon's assistant and advisor. He was also the chairman of the ″Social Responsibility Committee″ for the Asian Football Confederation.

Wake and funeral

Kirigaya Funeral Hall, where his funeral was held.
Kirigaya Funeral Hall, where his funeral was held.

In the afternoon of 11 July, Abe's casket was transported to the Zōjō-ji Temple in Shiba Park of the Minato ward of Tokyo, where several feudal shoguns are buried.[281][282] A wake for Abe began at 6:00 p.m.[281] Over 2,500 people attended, according to the LDP.[283]

A Buddhist funeral for Abe took place at Zōjō-ji Temple on the next day. The ceremony, conducted by priests from the Jōdō-shū tradition, was restricted to Abe's family and select others from the LDP. Following the funeral, Abe's casket was transported through the Nagatachō district with large crowds watching the procession from the sidewalks.[284] The casket was driven past LDP headquarters,[285] the National Diet Building and the Prime Minister's Office before being taken to Kirigaya Funeral Hall in the Shinagawa ward for a private funeral.[104][286] During the funeral, Abe received a posthumous name that reflected his life on the political stage.[e] A farewell ceremony has been planned for sometime after the funeral and the traditional 49-day mourning period.[281] The location is planned to be within the Yamaguchi 4th district and within Tokyo.[284]

On 12 August 2022, the UPF held an international conference in Seoul which was attended by foreign dignitaries such as Mike Pompeo, Newt Gingrich, and Stephen Harper. None of the dignitaries from Japan attended. Part of the venue was dedicated to giving a memorial service for Abe. While not attending personally, Donald Trump and Mike Pence's video messages were also played during the event. The event stated that Abe died while participating in a movement for peace.[287][288][289]

State funeral

On 14 July 2022, six days after the assassination, the Kishida Cabinet formally decided a state funeral of Abe to be held on 27 September at the Nippon Budokan.[290] The cost of the entire ceremony would be paid by the national coffer,[291] drawn from the "annual contingency fund" which was meant for emergency situations like natural disasters.[292] On 26 August, the cabinet approved a budget of 249.4 million yen (about US$ 1.8 million in August 2022) which did not include the cost of security,[293] but in an estimation announced by the cabinet on 6 September, the grand total of the actual cost with inclusion of security (800 million yen), hosting foreign dignitaries (600 million yen) and other miscellaneous cost (10 million yen) would be at least 1.66 billion yen.[294][295] The cabinet made the decision without seeking consensus in the parliament, but attempted to convince the opposing lawmakers after they finalized the decision.[292] Kishida insisted pushing forward the state funeral on the grounds of Abe being the longest serving prime minister of Japan, as well as his achievements on domestic affairs and foreign policies.[296] On the other hand, Kishida reaffirmed that, similar to Yoshida's state funeral, the government would only plead with, but not mandate the public to mourn Abe during his state funeral.[297]

There was one precedent of a state funeral for a post-war Japanese leader, Shigeru Yoshida, held in 1967 which costed 18 million yen of tax money.[296] Originally the "State Funeral Decree" (国葬令) was enacted in 1926 by the end of Taisho period. Articles three and five stipulated that the "prime minister shall conduct a state funeral for any one who made exceptional contribution to the country not of the imperial family under the Emperor's decree". After the Second World War, the new Constitution of Japan went into effect in 1947, and the State Funeral Decree was declared null and void. Although the state funeral for Yoshida decided by the then Prime Minister Eisaku Satō lacked any constitutional basis, by that time, only the Japanese Communist Party opposed the decision. Post-war funerals for the Emperor of Japan, while technically following the custom of a state funeral, have been known as the "Ceremony of the Imperial Funeral [ja]" since 1947.[298][297][299]

Attendees

Kishida's determination to hold Abe's state funeral was described by the media as a form of "funeral diplomacy [ja]" to convey his will to inherit Abe's legacy domestically and internationally.[300] However, when compared to the state funeral of Elizabeth II held on 19 September, one week before Abe's state funeral, the media pointed out that the foreign dignitaries attending Abe's funeral were less influential, comprising mostly former heads of state,[14][301] and none of the incumbent leaders of the G7 attended.[302][303] Nippon TV cited an anonymous government official who explained that many leaders who attended Elizabeth II's funeral were unsure if it was appropriate to conduct two consecutive trips abroad in such a short period of time.[14] All-Nippon News cited another official who commented that there were almost no notable foreign dignitaries who could attend, and that Kishida was wrong for being overly optimistic of his "funeral diplomacy" plan.[304] Among those who received but eventually turned down invitations were Barack Obama,[305] Donald Trump,[14] Joe Biden, Angela Merkel,[306] and Emmanuel Macron.[307] Justin Trudeau cancelled his schedule three days before the funeral as Hurricane Fiona, a category 4 tropical cyclone, was causing serious damage across Atlantic Canada.[308]

Representatives from 218 foreign countries, regions and international organizations attended the funeral, which included heads of state and government as well as ambassadors and cabinet members.[309]

On 20 September 2022, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated that he would not attend Abe's state funeral. Kan's predecessor, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also did not attend Abe's state funeral.[310]

Reactions to the state funeral

Polling data of the state funeral for Shinzo Abe
Agency Survey Date Positive (%) Negative (%) Source
NHK July 16–18
49 38
[311][312]
Sankei & FNN July 23–24
31.0 19.1 14.8 32.1
[313][314]
Nikkei & TV Tokyo July 29–31
47 43
[315][316]
Kyodo July 30–31
17.9 27.2 23.5 29.8
[317]
NHK Aug. 5–7
36 50
[318]
Yomiiuri & NNN Aug. 5–7
49 46
[319][320]
JNN Aug. 6–7
42 45
[321]
Jiji Aug. 5–8
30.5 47.3
[322]
Kyodo Aug. 10–11
42.5 56.0
[323]
ANN Aug. 20–21
34 51
[324]
Mainichi Aug. 20–21
30 53
[325]
Sankei & FNN Aug. 20–21
40.8 51.1
[326][327]
Asahi Aug. 27–28
41 50
[328]
Yomiiuri & NNN Sep. 2–4
38 56
[329]
JNN Sep. 3–4
38 51
[330]
NHK Sep. 9–11
32 57
[331]
Asahi Sep. 10–11
38 56
[332][333]
Jiji Sep. 9–12
25.3 51.9
[334]
Nikkei & TV Tokyo Sep. 16–18
33 60
[316]
ANN Sep. 17–18
30 54
[335]
Kyodo Sep. 17–18
13.8 24.7 20.2 40.6
[336][337]
Mainichi Sep. 17–18
27 62
[338]
Sankei & FNN Sep. 17–18
31.5 62.3
[339][340]
Surveys after the State Funeral
Asahi Oct. 1–2
35 59
[341]
JNN Oct. 1–2
42 54
[342]
Yomiuri, NNN Oct. 1–2
41 54
[343][344]
Kyodo Oct. 8–9
13.4 23.5 23.1 38.8
[345][346]
Jiji Oct. 7–10
24.4 49.5
[347]
NHK Oct. 8–10
32.6 54.2
[348]
ANN Oct. 15–16
30 57
[349]
Mainichi Oct. 22–23
18 60
[350]

A state funeral is a stark break from recent funerals for other post-war Japanese leaders, which have been jointly organized and paid for by the Cabinet and the LDP.[351] The Cabinet's decision has been met with mixed reactions, as there is currently no legal founding that clarifies eligibility or how a state funeral should be conducted.[351] An injunction requesting a suspension to the Cabinet's decision and budget for the event had been filed at the district courts in Tokyo, Saitama, Yokohama and Osaka by civil groups on 21 July, which states the lack of parliamentary approval and infringement of a constitutional right to freedom of belief.[352] All these lawsuits were dismissed by all courts on 9 September.[353] On 12 September, the Japan Congress of Journalists [ja] (JCJ) issued an appeal letter in opposition to Abe's state funeral, citing unfavorable polling data of the state funeral across the news agencies. The letter condemned the 2015 Japanese military legislation (legalization of Japan's right to collective self-defense), one of Abe's controversial legacies during his tenure, which was described by JCJ as destroying the Constitution and peace diplomacy of Japan, but Kishida attempted to praise such legacy via a state funeral paid by taxpayers' money.[354][355] Anti-cult journalist Eito Suzuki [ja] expressed his concern that Abe's state funeral could be used by the Unification Church to lure more victims into their organization because of Abe's overt endorsement of their leader Hak Ja Han.[297] On 22 September, in a third press conference held by the Unification Church in response to the assassination and spiritual sales, they would announce their support for Abe's state funeral out of "tremendous respect" for Abe.[356]

Opponents of the state funeral organized public rallies. One on 22 July, about 400 people gathered before the Prime Minister's Office.[357] A second one on 16 August had more than a thousand people marching peacefully on the street of Shinjuku in Tokyo.[358][359] A third one on 31 August organized by the opposition parties saw more than 2500 people protesting before the National Diet Building.[360] On 19 September, two separate anti-state-funeral rallies occurred in Shibuya[361] and Sapporo.[362] On 21 September 2022, a man, believed to be in his 70s, set himself alight near the Prime Minister's Office, after apparently writing an anti-state funeral note.[363][364][365]

On the day of the state funeral, about 200,000 police officers were deployed around Budokan to maintain law and order. About 3,000 opponents of the state funeral, led by opposing parties, matched from the Diet to Budokan. On their way, they clashed physically with proponents, while police officers attempted to separate the two parties outside of Budokan.[366][367]

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, many people were in favor of a state funeral, partly due to the shock. As the controversial relationships of the conservative ruling Liberal Demoratic Party (LDP) and the UC were revealed in an investigation, public opinion began to voice "opposition to state funerals". Koji Nakakita, a professor of political science at Hitotsubashi University, commented on the reason for the increase in public opinion against the state funeral, saying, "The biggest problem is the issue of the former Unification Church. When the shooting occurred, some people sympathized with it as 'blasphemy against democracy'. However, the tide turned sharply when the problems of the cult came to the surface." He pointed out that Abe and others had received cooperation from the cult during the national elections, commenting, "Was the former Unification Church used to win?"[368]

Discover more about Wake and funeral related topics

Shiba Park

Shiba Park

Shiba Park is a public park in Minato, Tokyo, Japan built around the temple of Zōjō-ji.

Minato, Tokyo

Minato, Tokyo

Minato is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is also called Minato City in English.

Feudalism

Feudalism

Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, cultural and political customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships that were derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although it is derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), which was used during the Medieval period, the term feudalism and the system which it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people who lived during the Middle Ages. The classic definition, by François Louis Ganshof (1944), describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations which existed among the warrior nobility and revolved around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs.

Buddhism

Buddhism

Buddhism, also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya, is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha. It originated in northern India as a śramaṇa-movement in the 5th century BCE, and gradually spread throughout much of Asia via the Silk Road. It is the world's fourth-largest religion, with over 520 million followers (Buddhists) who comprise seven percent of the global population.

Nagatachō

Nagatachō

Nagatachō is a district of Tokyo, Japan, located in Chiyoda Ward. It is the location of the Diet of Japan and the Prime Minister's residence (Kantei). The Supreme Court of Japan is located in neighboring Hayabusachō. Nagatachō is often used to refer to the elected Japanese government, while Kasumigaseki refers to the unelected bureaucratic administration.

National Diet Building

National Diet Building

The National Diet Building is the building where both houses of the National Diet of Japan meet. It is located at Nagatachō 1-chome 7–1, Chiyoda, Tokyo.

Shinagawa

Shinagawa

Shinagawa is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. The Ward refers to itself as Shinagawa City in English. The Ward is home to ten embassies.

Seoul

Seoul

Seoul, officially known as the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. According to the 2020 census, Seoul has a population of 9.9 million people, and forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area with the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province. Considered to be a global city and rated as an Alpha – City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC), Seoul was the world's fourth largest metropolitan economy in 2014, following Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles.

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Michael Richard Pompeo is an American politician, diplomat, and businessman who served under President Donald Trump as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2017 to 2018 and as the 70th United States secretary of state from 2018 to 2021. He is the first person to have held both of those positions.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Newton Leroy Gingrich is an American politician and author who served as the 50th speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district serving north Atlanta and nearby areas from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. In 2012, Gingrich unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.

Nippon Budokan

Nippon Budokan

The Nippon Budokan , often shortened to simply Budokan, is an indoor arena located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It was originally built for the inaugural Olympic judo competition in the 1964 Summer Olympics. While its primary purpose is to host martial arts contests, the arena has gained additional fame as one of the world's most outstanding musical performance venues. The Budokan was a popular venue for Japanese professional wrestling for a time, and it has hosted numerous other sporting events such as the 1967 Women's Volleyball World Championship. Most recently, the arena hosted the Olympic debut of karate in the 2020 Summer Olympics, as well as the judo competition at both the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics.

Post-war

Post-war

In Western usage, the phrase post-war era usually refers to the time since the end of World War II. More broadly, a post-war period is the interval immediately following the end of a war. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum, when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date. By contrast, a post-war period marks the cessation of armed conflict entirely.

Misinformation

Video capturing the surrounding area of the assassination from the sky by the television station was widely shared online by conspiracy theorists as a proof of Abe's death by sniper rifle, instead of Yamagami's homemade gun, from the roof of the nearby shopping mall Sanwa City Saidaiji. The conspiracy theory claimed that there was a white tent spotted on the roof of the mall in the video, and that tent was used as a hideout by the sniper. The management company of Sanwa City Saidaiji clarified that the tent was set up for the purpose of cleaning the ventilation ducts, and denied the possibility that it could have been used by anyone without authorization.[369] A comedian admitted that he was responsible for spreading this conspiracy theory online. After receiving criticism, he published an apology video on YouTube.[370]

Several media outlets misidentified the video game developer Hideo Kojima as the assassin.[371][372][373][374][375] The misreporting allegedly stemmed from jokes on the online message board 4chan and Twitter that were taken as fact and subsequently published by the far-right French politician Damien Rieu [fr],[376][377] the Greek news outlet ANT1, and the Iranian website Mashregh News.[371][378] ANT1 additionally reported that the suspect was "passionate about Che Guevara".[379] ANT1 uploaded the broadcast to its YouTube account, but later removed it.[380] Rieu took down the original tweet and issued an apology.[381][376] Kojima's company, Kojima Productions, condemned the false reports and threatened legal action against those perpetuating the rumor.[382][371][375]

Some social media users also falsely claimed that a fabricated tweet by Abe, detailing supposed information that could incriminate Hillary Clinton, led to his death.[383][384]

Discover more about Misinformation related topics

Sniper rifle

Sniper rifle

A sniper rifle is a high-precision, long-range rifle. Requirements include accuracy, reliability, mobility, concealment and optics for anti-personnel, anti-materiel and surveillance uses of the military sniper. The modern sniper rifle is a portable shoulder-fired weapon system with a choice between bolt-action or semi-automatic action, fitted with a telescopic sight for extreme accuracy and chambered for a high-ballistic performance centerfire cartridge.

Hideo Kojima

Hideo Kojima

Hideo Kojima is a Japanese video game designer, director, producer and writer. He is regarded as an auteur of video games. He developed a strong passion for action/adventure cinema and literature during his childhood and adolescence. In 1986, he was hired by Konami, for which he designed and wrote Metal Gear (1987) for the MSX2, a game that laid the foundations for stealth games and the Metal Gear series, his best known and most appreciated works. He is also known for producing the Zone of the Enders series, as well as writing and designing Snatcher (1988) and Policenauts (1994), graphic adventure games regarded for their cinematic presentation.

4chan

4chan

4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard website. Launched by Christopher "moot" Poole in October 2003, the site hosts boards dedicated to a wide variety of topics, from anime and manga to video games, cooking, weapons, television, music, literature, history, fitness, politics, and sports, among others. Registration is not available and users typically post anonymously. As of 2022, 4chan receives more than 22 million unique monthly visitors, of which approximately half are from the United States.

ANT1

ANT1

Antenna, better known as ANT1, is a television network airing in Greece. The alternate spelling is wordplay in Greek; ena (ένα) is the Greek number 1 (one), thus ANT1 is pronounced the same as Antenna (Αντέννα). It launched on 31 December 1989, and is owned by Antenna Group. ANT1 had been a popular network in Greece for years with its line up of soap series including dramas Lampsi and Kalimera Zoi.

Mashregh News

Mashregh News

Mashregh News is a non-governmental news website in Iran. It has been described as "close to the security and intelligence organizations" but till now there have been no clear documents to prove claims. It is based in Tehran. Mashregh News often breaks stories of international interest.

Che Guevara

Che Guevara

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, writer, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.

Kojima Productions

Kojima Productions

Kojima Productions Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game development studio founded in 2015 by video game designer Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series. It is the spiritual predecessor to a production team inside Konami also known as Kojima Productions. The team had around 100 employees, but grew to over 200 for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. After leaving Konami, Kojima founded an independent studio with a slightly altered Japanese name in Shinagawa.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, as a United States senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, and as First Lady of the United States as the wife of President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the party's nominee for president in the 2016 presidential election, becoming the first woman to win a presidential nomination by a major U.S. political party; Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College vote, thereby losing the election to Donald Trump.

Clinton Body Count

Clinton Body Count

The Clinton Body Count is a baseless conspiracy theory asserting that former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton have secretly had their political opponents murdered, totalling as many as 50 or more. Many parts of it have been advanced by Newsmax publisher Christopher Ruddy, congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and others. Such baseless allegations have been circulated since at least since 1994, when a film called The Clinton Chronicles, produced by Larry Nichols and promoted by Rev. Jerry Falwell, accused Bill Clinton of multiple crimes including murder.

Copycat threats

Thirty minutes after the shooting, a threatening phone call was made to Matsuyama's office, where Abe had been initially scheduled to deliver a speech.[385] A suspect was arrested on 9 July for making threats.[386]

The Hyogo prefectural police are investigating a death threat and resignation demand for Akashi Mayor Fusaho Izumi,[387] who previously served as an aide to the assassinated lawmaker Kōki Ishii.[388]

Hours after the shooting, online assassination threats were made in Singapore and Taiwan against their respective leaders, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and Republic of China president Tsai Ing-wen. In Singapore, a 45-year-old man was arrested after his threats online were reported to the police.[389] In Taiwan, the threat came from a 22-year-old man in Tainan, who was arrested at his home in Yongkang District.[390]

Thailand additionally tightened security around its government officials and planned to increase security at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, due to be hosted in Bangkok on 17–18 November.[391]

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Prime Minister of Singapore

Prime Minister of Singapore

The prime minister of Singapore is the head of government of the Republic of Singapore. The president appoints the prime minister, a Member of Parliament (MP) who in their opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of the majority of MPs. The incumbent prime minister is Lee Hsien Loong, who took office on 12 August 2004.

Lee Hsien Loong

Lee Hsien Loong

Lee Hsien Loong is a Singaporean politician and former brigadier-general who has been serving as Prime Minister of Singapore and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party since 2004. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Teck Ghee division of Ang Mo Kio GRC since 1991, and previously Teck Ghee SMC between 1984 and 1991.

Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen is a Taiwanese politician serving as President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 2016. A member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai is the first female president of Taiwan. She served as chair of the DPP from 2020 to 2022, and also previously from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2018.

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan, officially Tainan City, is a special municipality in southern Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait on its western coast. Tainan is the oldest city on the island and also commonly known as the "Capital City" for its over 200 years of history as the capital of Taiwan under Koxinga and later Qing rule. Tainan's complex history of comebacks, redefinitions and renewals inspired its popular nickname "the Phoenix City". Tainan is classified as a "Sufficiency" level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Yongkang District

Yongkang District

Yongkang District is a district home to 233,730 people in Tainan, Taiwan.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Following the success of ASEAN's series of post-ministerial conferences launched in the mid-1980s, APEC started in 1989, in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; it aimed to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe. Headquartered in Singapore, APEC is recognized as one of the highest-level multilateral blocs and oldest forums in the Asia-Pacific region, and exerts a significant global influence.

Reactions

Domestic

Nara Medical University Hospital, where Abe was pronounced dead
Nara Medical University Hospital, where Abe was pronounced dead

Incumbent prime minister Fumio Kishida called the assassination an "unforgivable act" and an "act of cowardly barbarism".[392][393] Noting that Abe was shot while delivering a campaign speech, Kishida also denounced the assassination as an attack on Japan's democracy and vowed to defend a "free and fair election at all costs".[394]

Before Abe's death was announced, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike stated that "no matter the reason, such a heinous act is absolutely unforgivable. It is an affront against democracy."[395] Kazuo Shii, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, called the assassination "barbaric", an attack on free speech and an act of terrorism in a post to Twitter.[396] Tomohiko Taniguchi, a former advisor to Abe, compared his death to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in terms of likely social impact in Japan.[397]

Tomoaki Onizuka, head of Nara Prefecture Police, acknowledged security lapses at the political rally where Abe was killed, and pledged to identify and resolve the flaws, "It is undeniable that there were problems with the security for former prime minister Abe, and we will immediately identify the problems and take appropriate measures to resolve them".[398]

On 11 July, Kishida's cabinet decided to award Abe Junior First Rank (Ju Ichi'i (従一位)), as well as the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (Dai Kun'i Kikkashō Keishoku (大勲位菊花章頸飾)) effective 8 July,[399] making Abe the fourth former prime minister since Yasuhiro Nakasone to be conferred the Collar under the current Constitution.[400][401][402]

International

In response to the shooting and Abe's subsequent death, representatives of numerous countries, including present and former world leaders, expressed their condolences.[403][404]

Anthony Albanese, prime minister of Australia, said that Japan had emerged as "one of Australia's most like-minded partners in Asia" under Abe's leadership. Albanese also mentioned Abe's foreign policy contributions, adding that the "Quad and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are in many ways the results of his diplomatic leadership". Albanese said that Abe's legacy was "one of global impact, and a profound and positive one for Australia".[405] Landmarks in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth were lit up in red and white, and flags were flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral.[406]

National days of mourning were declared in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cuba and Sri Lanka, with all countries flying their flags at half-mast on their respective days of mourning. In Bangladesh, a day of state mourning was declared for 9 July.[407] Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, ordered three days of national mourning in Brazil, which is home to the world's largest population of Japanese descent outside of Japan.[408] Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, announced that India would observe a day of national mourning on 9 July; Modi's reaction was regarded by some as an extremely personal one compared to other world leaders particularly for his addressal of the former Prime Minister as "Abe-san" in his blog where he paid tributes.[409][410][411][412] Nepal and Bhutan declared their respective days of mourning for 9 July.[413][414] Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen announced 10 July as a day of national mourning with entertainment venues being closed for that day.[415][416] Cuba observed a day of national mourning on 11 July.[417] On 12 July, Sri Lanka observed a day of national mourning with its flag flown at half-mast on state buildings.[418] While formal mourning days were not proclaimed in Thailand, the government did fly flags at half-mast on 8 July, and the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha paid a visit to the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok to pay respects in person.[419][420]

United States President Joe Biden ordered flags of the United States to be flown at half-staff until 10 July 2022,[421][422] and visited the Japanese embassy to sign a condolence book.[423] Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unscheduled stop in Tokyo per request from President Biden, en route from the G20 Summit to the US, then met with PM Kishida to offer condolences in person, and shared letters that President Biden had written to the Abe family.[424][425][423][426] Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen canceled her visit to the Port of Yokohama during her visit to Japan, which was scheduled prior to the assassination of Abe.[427] Yellen, alongside the Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, attended Abe's wake at Zōjō-ji Temple on 11 July. Back in the US, members of both the Democratic and Republican parties offered tributes to Abe.[402][426][428]

The European Council released a photo and video library in memory of Abe, featuring the former prime minister's diplomatic interactions with leaders across the EU.[429]

Israeli President Isaac Herzog paid tribute to Abe as "one of Japan's most preeminent leaders in modern times", noting that he had been "deeply impressed" by Abe's "leadership, vision and respect for Israel" during his visit to the Jewish state in 2018.[430]

Releasing a joint statement, the leaders of the Quad nations of Australia, India, and the United States noted that the organisation would redouble its work towards "a peaceful and prosperous region" in honour of Abe. The White House noted that Abe played a formative role in the founding of the Quad partnership and worked tirelessly to advance a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.[431] In his official statement regarding the assassination, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau seconded the calls made by the Quad.[432]

President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen announced that the nation would observe a national day of mourning on 11 July, with the flag of Taiwan flown at half-mast.[433] Taipei 101 was also illuminated in multiple messages mourning the death of Abe.[434][435] Lai Ching-te, Taiwan Vice President, visited Abe's residence as a special envoy of President Tsai to mourn Abe, along with Frank Hsieh, Taiwan's envoy to Japan, on 11 July. Lai became the highest-ranking Taiwanese official to visit Japan in 50 years after Japan severed its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan in 1972 in favour of China.[436]

Individuals, non-governmental organisations and sports

France and Japan players paid silent tribute to mourn late Abe, before their rugby international test match at National Stadium in Tokyo; France's captain Charles Ollivon offered a jersey emblazoned with the name of Abe.

Formula One Dutch driver Max Verstappen paid tribute to Abe after he won the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.

The University of Southern California (USC) paid special condolences to Abe, who attended the university for three semesters studying English and Public Policy during a study abroad program. USC's president Carol Folt personally sent her own condolences.[437]

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, recognised Abe for being instrumental in securing the 2020 Summer Olympics for Tokyo before his tenure ended in 2020 as well as his "vision, determination and dependability" that enabled the IOC to make an unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympics by a year. The Olympic flag was flown in Lausanne at half-mast for three days.[438]

Despite official condolences sent by the Chinese and South Korean governments, many Chinese and South Korean internet users were unsympathetic to Abe's death. This stemmed from grievances concerning historical colonialism and war crimes by Imperial Japan, and towards nationalist Japanese politicians – including Abe – who denied or questioned some accounts of the atrocities.[439][440][441] In Japan, the assassination led to a renewed level of scrutiny of the ties between the Unification Church and the Liberal Democratic Party, with the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun running an editorial denouncing the LDP's ties to the organization; anti-Unification Church slogans trended in Japan on social media platforms, and an online petition was launched seeking to deny Abe state honours due to his ties to the group.[442] As of August 2022, approval for the Kishida government had fallen by 12%, and polling suggested that a majority of Japanese citizens were opposed to Abe being given a state funeral.[443]

The UN Security Council paid tribute to Abe, saying, "He will be remembered as a staunch defender of multilateralism, respected leader, and supporter of the United Nations."[444]

The American magazine Time unveiled the cover of its next issue, prominently featuring Abe's portrait in black and white. This will be Abe's fourth time featured on the magazine, with Time writing Abe would be "remembered for remaking Japan".[445]

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Source: "Assassination of Shinzo Abe", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 30th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Shinzo_Abe.

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See also
Notes
  1. ^ a b While many sources report the weapon to be a shotgun,[65] the Nara Prefectural Police Department reported that the weapon was a pistol.[66][67] According to the police, the suspect called his homemade gun used in the assassination a "shotgun" (散弾銃).[68]
  2. ^ In Japan, one unit of normal blood transfusion is about 200 millilitre. However, in the case of acute blood loss, the patient is instead administered "red blood cell transfusion" which is 140 millilitre per unit, in other words Abe was administered 14,000 cc (14 L) of blood.[87]
  3. ^ a b Unification Church's Tokyo chair claimed that Yamagami's mother first joined their church in 1998 during the 11 July press conference, Yamagami's paternal uncle claimed that it was around 1991 while being interviewed by press on 15 July. Yamagami's alleged Twitter account claimed that the Unification Church stole his family's wealth when he was 14, adding to Yamagami's birth year of 1980, this would suggest the financial woe of his family caused by the UC began no later than 1994.[136]
  4. ^ Also romanized as Song Joo-yeol
  5. ^ Shiun-in Den Sei Yo Shō Jō Shin Jū Dai Kōji (紫雲院殿政譽清浄晋寿大居士)
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