While investigations into the murder of Shinzo Abe continue, targeted for his proximity to the Luna sect, the funeral of the former Japanese prime minister was held in privacy on Tuesday, July 12, at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in the heart of Tokyo. A wake, open to the public, had attracted hundreds of people the day before who wished to pay their last respects to the former head of the government killed in Nara as he gave a speech as part of the campaign for the senators on 10 July. They could place white carnations on an altar decorated with a portrait of him, smiling, in a white shirt without a tie.

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida went there, as did US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Taiwanese Vice President William Lai, the highest Taiwanese figure to come to Japan since the breakup of official relations in 1972. Upon his return from Bali, where he took part in the G20 meeting, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, then stopped in Tokyo to pay tribute “A man with a vision” who “has done more to strengthen US-Japan relations.”

On the same day, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) refrained from any triumphalism following its sweeping victory in the senatorial elections. For the announcement of the results that gave 63 PLD seats out of the 125 to be assigned, Mr. Kishida wore a dark tie and a black buttonhole ribbon, signs of mourning. He had wanted the vote to be kept, which “It represents a foundation of our democracy, shaken by violence”. The flags were lowered in Kantei, the prime minister’s offices.

Relations with religious movements

Meanwhile, the police continue to interrogate Tetsuya Yamagami, the author of the shots. The 41-year-old former sailor blamed Mr. Abe for his ties to “an organization” which authorities refused to cite, as did the mainstream media, until less fearful online weeklies and publications revealed that it was the Holy Spirit Association for World Unification, also known as the Moon sect. “I targeted Mr. Abe for his proximity to the Unification Church”, explained Tetsuya Yamagami, who denied killing him for political reasons.

Mr. Yamagami’s mother belongs to the Unification Church to which she made large donations which led to her personal bankruptcy on August 21, 2002. According to Mr. Yamagami, her hatred for Mr. Abe is due to the fact that this commitment – confirmed from the sect – led to the dissolution of his family. The Unification Church was founded in 1954 by South Korean Reverend Moon Sun-myung (1920-2012). With nearly three million members worldwide, it was renamed the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unification in 2005.

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