On the 8th of July 2022, (Friday) Japan’s Prime Minister “His Excellency Shinzo Abe” was assassinated during a political event in Nara City of Japan by a gunman. He was shot twice in the neck by a suspect caught by the police who revealed his name: Tetsuya Yamagami. After thorough interrogation, the accused stated that he held a grudge against a particular organisation and several homemade weapons and explosives were found in his residence. By the time the 67-year-old PM was admitted to a hospital, he was declared dead by doctors. This dastard attack on Abe has unleashed waves of criticism by the world. Many including Fumio Kishida (the succeeding prime minister) called the attack “Barbaric, Malicious and intolerable.” India’s PM Narendra Modi also condemned the attack.
Abe was the longest-serving prime minister of Japan. Local reports conveyed a message stating the attacker belonged to Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force (the equivalent of a navy). However, according to experts and analysts, post the “prima facie “revealed that there was a connection between Abe’s death and Unification Church. The Unification Church is a relatively new organisation founded in the 1950s in South Korea. In the 1970s and 80s, this organisation was held for brainwashing and many were arrested in the 2000s. The Suspect’s mother had donated 100 million Yuan to this Unification Church. The Unification Church has a bizarre recruitment process- the believers are instructed to atone for their sins that were perpetrated by their ancestors during the Japanese Colonial Rule in the Korean Peninsula (1910-1945).
On the 21st of July, the opposition (Japanese Communist Party) began their investigations and found several links between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Unification Church. The younger brother of Shinzo Abe, Nobuo Kishi stated that he received support from this Unification Church during elections in Japan. Abe’s grandfather had close relations with Sun Myung Moon. (Founder of the Unification Church) as stated by a chairman of the Church itself. According to police reports, it was Abe’s brother Nobusuke Kishi who had brought the Unification Church to Japan. Unpaid Volunteer services were provided by the Church to the LDP Party during the election campaign. Nobusuke also harboured anti-communist views and ideals. The presence of the church in Japan almost coincided with Myung Moon’s “International Federation for Victory over Communism”.
The network of Lawyers against Spiritual Sales reported that Abe sent his congratulation letter to an affiliate wing of the Church. An expert on the relations between religion and politics in Japan, Levi Mc Laughlin stated that there is nothing new regarding the relations between government and religious groups in Japan. She also stated that political links are not just limited to the LDP; even the opposition and Communist Party are interlinked. The Unification Church was involved with several other organisations such as “Shinto Seiji Renmei” and “Nippon Kaigi” (a right-wing party in Japan).
The LDP has a junior coalition partner which goes by the name of “Komeito” and it is connected to the Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement which is a main source of votes for the LDP. Komeito itself was formed by members of the Gakkai Buddhists. The teachings of the Unification Church chime closely with those of the LDP. It has relations with other opposition groups and parties such as the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). The DPP leader Yuichiro Tamaki and Kenta Izumi of the (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan) have admitted that they too have internal connections and ties with the Unification Church.