Abe shooting suspect to undergo psychiatric examination

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tetsuya Yamagami

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The suspect in the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to undergo an examination of his mental condition around the time of the incident, investigative sources said Saturday.

The Nara District Public Prosecutors Office has asked Nara District Court for the psychiatric examination of Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, which was approved. The examination is expected to run through late November.

The suspect’s detention and questioning will be halted during the mental examination. Prosecutors will determine whether Yamagami can bear criminal liability based on the examination before making a decision on whether to indict the suspect.

Yamagami is suspected of murdering Abe by shooting the former Japanese leader during a stump speech in front of Kintetsu Railway Co.’s Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara around 11:30 a.m. on July 8.

Yamagami has told Nara prefectural police that he had a long-standing grudge against the religious group known as the Unification Church, of which his mother is a member.

He said that he targeted Abe, believing that the former prime minister had ties to the group.

The suspect made his own guns and gunpowder based on information he found online, and tested his guns in the mountains in the prefecture. In addition to the homemade gun used in the incident, at least five guns were seized from Yamagami’s home in Nara.