Unification Church says it accepted ‘excessive’ donations from mother of suspect in Abe killing

Church official says he was upset to hear suspect told police his anger towards church led to attack on former Japanese PM

The Unification Church, whose close ties with Japan’s governing party have emerged after the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, has acknowledged it accepted “excessive” donations from the suspect’s mother, and that it would need to seriously consider if that led to the killing.

Abe died after a shooting during an outdoor campaign speech in July. The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, said he shot Abe because of the former prime minister’s links to the Unification Church, also known as the Moonies, which he blamed for bankrupting his family. Yamagami’s mother, a longtime member of the church, reportedly gave it ¥100m (£618,000) in donations two decades ago, plunging their family into poverty.

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