The motive of the 41-year-old man who shot Shinzo Abe has been leaked

Additional information on the motive of the suspect in Shinzo Abe's murder. The motive seems to be related to the Unification Church, Japanese media reports.

The motive of the 41-year-old man who shot Shinzo Abe has been leaked
The motive of the suspect in the shooting of Japan's former prime minister seems to be taking shape. PHOTO:  KYODO/REUTERS

Additional information has leaked out about the motive of the 41-year-old man suspected of shooting former JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to Japanese media, it appears to be related to the Unification Church.

Abe was shot during an election rally on July 10 in the city of Nara. The man suspected of shooting is from Nara.

According to the sources of the Japanese news agency Kyodo News, the man suspected of the shooting would have held a grudge against a religious institution to which the man's mother had made a large donation.

According to the information, the man would have initially considered attacking a person who belongs to the leaders of a religious group. In the end, Abe was chosen as the target, because the man believed that the ex-prime minister had connections to the group. According to the police, the man has denied a political motive.

In Finland, Helsingin Sanomat first reported on the matter.

THE JAPANESE NEWSPAPER Asahi Shimbun had interviewed a relative of the suspected shooter, according to whom the widowed mother of the man's family had started donating large sums of money to a religious group.

The relative said that he had received phone calls from the family's children, in which they said that they had nothing to eat at home. The relative said he sometimes gave the children money to cover their expenses. In addition, he had taken food to the children from time to time.

- The mother was a widow and I think she felt uncertain about the family's future, a relative had said to a Japanese newspaper.

REUTERS reported on Monday that the United Church has said that the mother of the man suspected of shooting is a member of that religious movement. According to the United Church, former Prime Minister Abe was not a member of the organization, let alone an advisor.

The leader of the United Church of Japan, Tomihiro Tanaka, who confirmed the suspect's mother's membership, refused to comment on the mother's donations to the organization.

Tomihiro Tanaka, chairman of the United Church of Japan

Tomihiro Tanaka, chairman of the United Church of Japan, told a press conference that the suspect's mother belongs to the movement. PHOTO:  KYODONEWS/ZUMA

The religious movement known as the Unification Church was founded in South Korea by Sun Myung Moon in 1954. Moon proclaimed himself the Messiah and was known as a vocal opponent of communism.

The shop's partners include media houses in South Korea, Japan, and the United States. Along with the religious movement, Moon ran a business empire and among other things, he founded the conservative Washington Times newspaper in the United States.

The movement, also known as Mormonism, organizes, among other things, large weddings where thousands of married couples get married at the same time.

ALTHOUGH ACCORDING TO THE UNITED CHURCH, ABE was not a member or advisor of the church, last September Abe gave a speech at one of the United Church's partner's events. At that event, Abe praised the church's partner for working for peace on the Korean peninsula.

The United Church has been accused of cultism and a shady business side. The religious sect has denied these claims.

Reuters could not reach the suspect's mother to comment on her association with the United Church.

According to the news agency Reuters, the funeral of the FORMER PRIME MINISTER IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN EARLY TUESDAY MORNING FINNISH TIME. The funeral ceremony is reportedly private.