The suspect, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested at the scene for attempted murder. The charge was upgraded to murder after Abe was pronounced dead. Yamagami told investigators that he had shot Abe in relation to a grudge he held against the Unification Church (UC), to which Abe and his family had political ties, over his mother's bankruptcy in 2002.
The assassination brought scrutiny from Japanese society and media against the UC's alleged practice of pressuring believers into making exorbitant donations. Japanese dignitaries and legislators were forced to disclose their relationship with the UC to the public. Prime Minister Fumio Kishidareshuffled the cabinet on 10 August. One of the few retaining ministers, Daishiro Yamagiwa, resigned on 24 October as the approval of the cabinet continued to plummet over the UC scandal. On 31 August the LDP announced that it would no longer have any relationship with the UC and its associated organisations, and would expel its members if they did not break ties with the group. On 10 December, the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors passed two bills to restrict the activities of religious organisations such as the UC and provide relief to victims.
Shinzo Abe had served as Prime Minister of Japan between 2006 and 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020, when he resigned due to health concerns. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's history.
Nobusuke Kishi, his maternal grandfather, was Prime Minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960, and like Abe, was the target of an assassination attempt. Unlike Abe, he survived.
Abe was the first former Japanese prime minister to have been assassinated since Saitō Makoto and Takahashi Korekiyo, who were killed during the February 26 incident in 1936, the first Japanese legislator to be assassinated since Kōki Ishii was killed by a member of a right-wing group in 2002, and the first Japanese politician to be assassinated during an electoral campaign since Iccho Itoh, then-mayor of Nagasaki, who was shot dead during his mayoral race in April 2007.
Relationship between Abe's family and the Unification Church
Nobusuke Kishi's postwar political agenda led him to work closely with Ryoichi Sasakawa, a businessman and nationalist politician during the Second World War. As Moon's advisor, Sasakawa helped establish the UC in Japan in 1963 and assumed the roles of both patron and president of the church's political wing, International Federation for Victory over Communism (IFVOC, 国際勝共連合), which would forge intimate ties with Japan's conservative politicians. In this way, Sasakawa and Kishi shielded what would become one of the most widely distrusted groups in contemporary Japan.
Moon's organisations, including the UC and the overtly political IFVOC, were financially supported by Ryoichi Sasakawa and Yoshio Kodama.
When the UC still had a few thousand followers, its headquarters was located on land once owned by Kishi in Nanpeidaichō, Shibuya, Tokyo, and UC officials frequently visited the adjacent Kishi residence. By the early 1970s, UC members were being used by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as campaign workers without compensation. LDP politicians were also required to visit the UC's headquarters in South Korea and receive Moon's lectures on theology, regardless of their religious views or membership. In return, Japanese authorities shielded the UC from legal penalties over their often-fraudulent and aggressive practices. Subsequently, the UC gained much influence in Japan, laying the groundwork for its push into the United States and its later entrenchment.
Such a relationship was passed on to Kishi's son-in-law, former foreign minister Shintaro Abe, who attended a dinner party held by Moon at the Imperial Hotel in 1974. In the US, the 1978 Fraser Report, an inquiry by the US Congress into American–Korean relations, determined that Kim Jong-pil, founder and director of the Korean C.I.A. an associate of Yoshio Kodama and from 1971 to 1975 Prime Minister of South Korea, had "organized" the UC in the early 1960s and was using it "as a political tool" on behalf of authoritarian President Park Chung Hee and the military dictatorship. In 1989, Moon urged his followers to establish their footing in Japan's parliament, then install themselves as secretaries for the Japanese lawmakers, and focus on those of Shintaro Abe's faction in the LDP. Moon also stressed that they must construct their political influence not only in the parliament, but also on Japan's district level.
Shinzo Abe continued this relationship, and in May 2006, when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary, he and several cabinet ministers sent congratulatory telegrams to a mass wedding ceremony organised by the UC's front group, Universal Peace Federation (UPF, 天宙平和連合), for 2,500 couples of Japanese and Korean men and women.
In spring 2021, the chairman of the UPF's Japanese branch, Masayoshi Kajikuri [ja], called Abe and asked if the latter would consider speaking before an upcoming UPF rally in September if former US president Donald Trump also attended. Abe replied that he had to accept the offer should that be the case; he formally agreed to his participation on 24 August 2021. At the September rally, held ten months before the assassination, Abe stated to Kajikuri that, "The image of the Great Father [Moon] crossing his arms and smiling gave me goosebumps. I still respectably remember the sincerity [you] showed in the last six elections in the past eight years." Kajikuri claimed that he originally invited three unnamed former Japanese prime ministers, but was turned down due to concern of being used as poster boys for UC's mission.
According to research by Nikkan Gendai, ten out of twenty members in the Fourth Abe Cabinet had connections to the UC, but these connections were largely ignored by Japanese journalists. After the assassination, Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe's younger brother, was forced to disclose that he had been supported by the UC in past elections.
According to historians, up to 70% of the UC's wealth has been accumulated through outdoor fundraising rounds. Steven Hassan, a former UC member engaged in the deprogramming of other UC members, describes these as "spiritual sales" (reikan shōhō, 霊感商法), with parishioners scanning obituaries, going door-to-door, and saying, "Your dead loved one is communicating with us, so please go to the bank and send money to the Unification Church so your loved one can ascend to heaven in the spirit world."
Moon's theology teaches that his homeland Korea is the "Adam country", home of the rulers destined to control the world. Japan is the "fallen Eve country". The dogma teaches Eve had sexual relations with Satan and then seduced Adam, which caused mankind to fall from grace (original sin), while Moon was appointed to bring mankind to salvation. Japan must therefore be subservient to Korea. This was used to encourage their Japanese followers into offering every single material belonging to Korea via the church.
According to journalist Fumiaki Tada [ja] and other former UC followers, the conditions for Japanese followers to participate in the UC's mass wedding were substantially more difficult than Korean people, on the grounds of "Japan's sinful occupation of Korea" between 1910 and 1945. In 1992, each Japanese follower needed to successfully bring three more people into the church, fulfill a certain quota of fundraising by selling the church's merchandise, undergo fasting for seven days, and pay an appreciation fee of 1.4 million yen. For Korean people, the fee for attending the mass wedding was 2 million won (about 200 thousand yen in September 2022). Most Korean attendees were not followers of the church to begin with, as UC considered it an honour for a Japanese woman to be married to a Korean man, like an abandoned dog being picked up by a prince. If the Japanese followers wanted to leave their partners of the mass wedding or the church, they were told they would be damned to the "hell of hell".
In 1987, about 300 lawyers in Japan set up an association called the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (Zenkoku Benren) to help victims of the UC and similar organisations. According to statistics compiled by the association's lawyers between 1987 and 2021, the association and local government consumer centers received 34,537 complaints alleging that UC had forced people to make unreasonably large donations or purchase large amounts of items, amounting to about 123.7 billion yen. According to the internal data compiled by the UC which leaked to the media, the donation by the Japanese followers between 1999 and 2011 was about 60 billion yen annually.
Abe was initially scheduled to deliver a speech in Nagano Prefecture on 8 July 2022 in support of Sanshirō Matsuyama [ja], an LDP candidate in upcoming elections to the House of Councillors. That event was abruptly cancelled on 7 July following allegations of misconduct and corruption related to Matsuyama, and was replaced by a similar event in Nara Prefecture at which Abe was to deliver a speech in support of Kei Satō, an LDP councillor running for re-election. The LDP division in Nara Prefecture stated this new schedule was not generally publicly known, but NHK reported that the event had been widely advertised on Twitter and by sound truck. Nara police and Satō's campaign staff inspected the site on the evening before the incident, and the head of the prefectural police had approved of the security plan a few hours before the incident; one prefectural assembly member later said, "I thought it was a dangerous place that made it easy to attack former Prime Minister Abe from the cars and bicycles that pass along the road behind him".
While Abe was delivering his speech, the alleged perpetrator, Tetsuya Yamagami, was able to approach within several metres, despite the presence of security. At around 11:30 am, when Abe said, "Instead of thinking about why he [Satō] cannot do it ..." (「彼はできない理由を考えるのではなく…」), he was shot at from behind with a homemade gun[a] resembling a sawn-off, double-barreled shotgun capable of firing six bullets at a time. The first shot missed and prompted Abe to turn around, at which point a second shot was fired, hitting Abe in the neck and chest area. Abe then took a few steps forward, fell to his knees, and collapsed. Abe's security detained the suspect, who did not resist. According to security guards stationed during the assassination, the sound of the gunshot was very different from that of a conventional firearm, reminiscent of fireworks or tire blowout. This may explain the delay of response from Abe's bodyguards after the first round of gunshot.
Abe's wife Akie arrived at the hospital at 4:55 pm. Despite doctors' efforts, Abe was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:03 pm, around five and a half hours after being shot. He was 67 years old. Hidetada Fukushima, a doctor at the hospital, said the cause of Abe's death was blood loss, despite four hours of blood transfusions that saw the administration of 100 units of blood.[b] Fukushima said that Abe was hit by two bullets and that one bullet was not found in Abe's body. The police autopsy concluded Abe died from loss of blood after a bullet damaged an artery under his collarbone.
Several hours after the assassination, both former prime minister Yoshihide Suga and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno visited the hospital where Abe's body was being held.
Tetsuya Yamagami (山上 徹也, Yamagami Tetsuya), a resident of Nara, was arrested at the scene of the assassination. He was 41 years old, had no prior criminal history, and was unemployed at the time of his arrest. In his testimonies and letters, Yamagami claimed that he was driven by a grudge against the Unification Church for ruining his family. Even though he originally planned to target Hak Ja Han, then president of the church, he was unable to approach her, so he switched to Shinzo Abe, whom he believed was "one of the most influential sympathisers" of the church.
Yamagami was born on 10 September 1980 in Mie Prefecture to affluent parents who ran a local construction business. Described as quiet and reserved in high school, he wrote in his graduation yearbook that he "didn't have a clue" what he wanted to do in the future. In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun, a relative had stated that Yamagami had been struggling since childhood with the UC, of which his mother had become a devoted member. After the death of his maternal grandfather, his mother inherited ownership of the family business, but she eventually donated most of the family wealth and assets to the church, impoverishing the whole family.
Most political leaders cancelled all campaign events for the remainder of 8 July. Campaigning resumed the day after, on 9 July, with major party leaders vowing to not allow violence to disrupt the democratic process. The LDP subsequently won a supermajority of seats in the House of Councillors in the 10 July elections.
Effects on media broadcast
NHK General TV, and four of Japan's five major commercial television networks, cancelled or postponed all scheduled programming to broadcast live news coverage for the rest of the day, as did several radio stations. Of the shows impacted, the anime series Teppen—!!! had its second episode, scheduled to air on 9 July, cancelled entirely due to the plot of the episode revolving around an attempted assassination.
National Police Agency changes
On 20 August 2022, the National Police Agency announced that rules for conducting VIP protection will be revamped, which will also expand VIP protection training.
The NPA announced that from 26 August 2022, they will examine all VIP protection plans from the prefectural police and will instruct them to make recommended changes if and when it is deemed necessary. The NPA also announced that they will extend their "cyber patrol" force which was originally established to monitor online illegal drug trade and child pornography to also swiftly identify potential threats against VIPs found on social media and take early counter measures.
On 25 August 2022, Commissioner General Itaru Nakamura of the National Police Agency said that he will resign from his post to take responsibility for the shooting incident on Abe. The chief of the Nara Prefectural Police Tomoaki Onizuka and the director general of the National Police Agency's Security Bureau Kenichi Sakurazawa also announced their resignation.
The Unification Church distanced itself from the assassination and confirmed the involvement of Yamagami's mother with it by Tomihiro Tanaka [ja], the chair of the church's Tokyo branch, during a press conference on 11 July.
Tanaka expressed his "sorry and heartfelt" condolences. He confirmed that Yamagami was not a UC member, but his mother joined in 1998,[c] temporarily disappeared in 2009, and participated monthly in church events for the last half-year. Tanaka stated that the mother was bankrupted around 2002, and there is no record of such donation requests. He said that is a mystery what could lead from the resentment against the Church to the murder, and the Church will cooperate with Police to establish a motive if asked.
Tanaka also downplayed the alleged close tie between the organisation and Abe, stating that the former prime minister, not being a registered member or advisor, only delivered speeches for their "friendly entity", the UPF.
On 14 July, the UC released a statement claiming that before the assassination, they reached an agreement to refund 50 million yen donated by the suspect's mother from 2004 to 2015, and that they have no more record of new donations made by her after the refund. On the other hand, the 50 million yen refunded was again donated to the UC, according to the suspect's relatives.
At a press conference in Seoul on 19 July 2022, Chung Hwan Kwak, a prominent leader in the UC, apologised and stated that the organisation was responsible for Abe's death, saying: "I feel a deep responsibility [for the attack on Abe] because I heard that the motive of the attacker was associated with a grudge against donations [at the UC]. I sincerely apologize," he said. Kwak said that Sun Myung Moon enjoyed a close relationship with Abe's father and grandfather, stating: "Donations from Japan have greatly contributed to Moon's activities around the world". Kwak argued that he tried to reform the UC's Japanese branch and end the practice of spiritual sales, but that Jung Ok Yoo and other church leaders resisted and allowed the practice to continue. South Korean church officials and the Japanese branch, on the other hand, denied Kwak's claim.
The UC claimed that negative media reports related to the assassination led to hate speech and death threats against their followers. According to a female receptionist working at the Shibuya office of the UC she has been receiving two to three trolling letters every day, some containing home rubbish and even replacement razors. On 18 August 2022, the church organised a rally in Seoul against the Japanese media. About three thousand followers, comprising a considerable portion of Japanese women married to Korean men via the UC's mass weddings, were transported from their facility in Gapyeong County via coaches to participate in this protest. All participants refused to be interviewed by any Japanese media on site, with deliberate intervention from the staff of the church. On 21 August, the UC released a statement on its Japanese site which condemned the media's scrutiny towards the organisation's political ties as a witch hunt, demanding apologies to their followers and threatening legal action. On 27 October 2022, the lawyers representing the UC announced that they filed a civil case for defamation against TBS Radio, Nippon TV and the guests who commentated on their shows, Masaki Kito and Yoshifu Arita, demanding public apologies and a total of 33 million yen in damage.
In an interview with All-Nippon News Network, Korean journalist Song Ju-yeol[d] (송주열) revealed that, according to an informant, the assassination had thrown the UC into a state of crisis. Negative attention towards the church could realistically impede their capability to raise the funds needed for operating the organisation globally, in which a major portion was contributed by their Japanese followers. The 2023 new year greeting by Tomihiro Tanaka for a private meeting was leaked and reported by media, in that Tanaka addressed to their second generation followers to prepare for a climactic battle against religious persecution, as "2023 marked the 400th anniversary of persecution against Christianity in Japan beginning in 1623[e]". At the anniversary of Abe's assassination, a private statement was made by Hak Ja Han to the top executives of the church. Han reinforced that "Japan is a country of war criminals and must make compensation to Korea" and ordered that Japanese politicians, including Kishida, "receive education" for persecuting their organization. The UC refused to verify the authenticity of the leaked recording when requested for comment by the media.
The assassination resulted in renewed public interest into the relationship between the UC and the LDP. On 31 July 2022, Kishida demanded the members of his party to "carefully explain" their relationship with the church to the public. The alleged relationship caused the Kishida Cabinet's approval to drop, by 8% in July according to Yomiuri Shimbun or by 13% according to NHK. Both polls also showed that over 80% of respondents felt that the disclosure by the politicians of their relationship with the UC was insufficient. On 6 August, Kishida announced that he would reshuffle his cabinet on 10 August, much earlier than September 2022 as had been originally scheduled, and that all members of the next cabinet would be closely examined of their ties with the church.Taro Kono, the newly appointed Minister of Digital Affairs in this reshuffle, established a "Spiritual Sales Review Committee" in the Consumer Affairs Agency to hold weekly meeting with experts in cult-related frauds, including Masaki Kito of the anti-cult lawyers network Zenkoku Benren. In a 9 December 2022 consumer committee special meeting, Kono stated that he personally recognises the Unification Church as a "cult".
On 24 October 2022, one of the retaining ministers in the reshuffled cabinet, Daishiro Yamagiwa, announced his resignation as the Minister of Economic Revitalization, after being criticised for his past engagements with the UC, announcing his ties with the UC only after the reshuffle to the public, and unsatisfactory responses regarding his participations in the UC-related events such as "I have no memory" or "I have no record" when being questioned by the media and opposition lawmakers.
Almost a year before the assassination, in September 2021, the anti-cult lawyers group Zenkoku Benren sent an open protest letter to Shinzo Abe, after he had sent the video message to an online meeting of the Universal Peace Federation. In the letter, the lawyers protested that his video message constituted an "endorsement," stating: "We urge you to think carefully about this for the sake of your own honour."
On 11 July 2022, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward lawyers of Zenkoku Benren held a press conference in response to the assassination. After offering their condolences to Abe, they objected to the UC's claims that it reformed its practices in 2009 after it came under police investigation. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, an advocacy group representative, said that the UC's "explanation that there is no coercion of donations is a lie." The amount of damages reported by victims in Japan has been higher in recent years, the lawyers said, totalling 5.1 billion yen in more than 400 cases between 2017 and 2020. They emphasised that the activities of the UC are inseparable from front groups, including the UPF, they are all part of a "religious conglomerate" working toward the goal of "unifying" the world under their church. The advocacy group released a statement urging politicians to refrain from any actions that express support for the religious group.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations [ja] indicated that: "Neither administrative bodies or politicians in the administration did anything about the activities of the former UC in the past 30 years".
The National Family Association of Victims of the Unification Church (全国統一協会被害者家族の会), founded in 2003, received a surge of inquiries for helping their family members leave the UC. In June 2022, before the assassination, there were eight inquiries for the association; in July 2022, the number of inquiries jumped to 94; in August 2022, the number exceeded 100.
Because there were previous instances of students lured into the UC via the workers of "CARP" (for Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles), a UC-front organisation which was not acknowledged by the university, lingering around the campus, Osaka University erected warning signs in the campus to urge students to avoid cult-related groups like CARP. The signs listed the common behaviours of the workers of such group like asking for personal contact or taking survey.[verification needed] Since 2004, Osaka University provided lectures to all first-year students about the problems with religious cults and how to deal with them on campus. Many other schools, including Waseda University, Keio University and Ritsumeikan University, warned first-year students about on-campus recruitment activities. According to World CARP Japan (WCJ), the Japanese organisation of CARP, there are about 30 CARP-circles active in universities across Japan, where they help clean up communities and teach primary school children.
Examination of dissolving the Unification Church
The assassination raised discussion of stripping the UC of its "legal entity of religious organization" status based on Article 81 "Dissolution Order" of the Religious Juridical Person Law [ja] which was only issued twice in Japan prior to Abe's assassination, the first being the Aum Shinrikyo in 1996 following the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack; the second being Myōkakuji (明覚寺) in Wakayama in January 2002 whose top officials had been convicted for employing fraudulent spiritual sales tactics to attract massive donations from their believers. The rationales being that the UC was engaging in activities which were "clearly detrimental to the public welfare" and/or "out of line with the purpose of the religious organization." Professor of constitutional law Shigeru Minamino [ja] said that stripping the religious status of an organisation does not violate the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan, but it would merely strip them of benefits such as tax break enjoyed by a registered religious entity. In October 2022, the leaders of the Aum Shinrikyo's succeeding unregistered religious groups, Aleph and Hikari no Wa, answered to media interviews that their religious activities had not been hindered by the government since the 1996 dissolution order.
Since Abe's assassination, a woman under the pseudonym "Sayuri Ogawa" (小川 さゆり) as one of the former UC followers, who suffered financially and mentally, has become outspoken about her past experiences of how she was exploited by the church and her own parents. On 14 September 2022, she was arranged by the Japan News Network to speak face to face with the Minister of JusticeYasuhiro Hanashi on air and demanded passing new laws to regulate the malpractices of the UC and protect children from religious parents. On 6 October 2022, she and her husband held a press conference to explain their view on the church and why they feel exploited, which was interrupted by a message sent by her parents via the UC, who accused her of lying pathologically due to her mental illness. By the end of the press conference, she demanded the dissolution of the UC in tears.
On 11 October 2022, the anti-cult lawyers group Zenkoku Benren formally submitted a request for disbanding the UC to the Prosecutor-General [ja], Minister of Justice and Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Initially the Chief Cabinet SecretaryHirokazu Matsuno responded that the request must be considered with utmost prudence with regards of the precedents. On 16 October 2022, Prime Minister Kishida announced a probe of the UC would be launched regarding the allegations of their anti-social activities, and suggested the possibility of dissolving the UC depending on the report of the investigation. On the next day, organisations of anti-cultism and cult victims initiated an online petition demanding government officials to strip the UC of its religious juridical person status. As of 6 December 2022, the petition has garnered over 200 thousand signatures.
Legislation to restrict donations to religious organisations and provide relief to victims
Further information (in Japanese): Prevention of Unfair Solicitation of Donations by Corporations Act [ja]
On 10 December, the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors passed two bills to restrict the activities of religious organisations such as the UC and provide relief to victims. These bills were designed to address social problems caused by the UC and the political parties and the media saw these bills as a way to restrict "cults" in the process leading up to the legislation.
The new law stipulates prohibited acts and duty of care for juridical persons, including religious organisations, when soliciting donations. Prohibited acts include the following: a juridical person must not induce the donor to borrow money or sell their home or fields in order to raise the funds for the donation, a juridical person must not accompany the donor to a place from which the donor is unable to leave, and a juridical person must not prevent the donor from consulting with someone. The duty of care is that the juridical person shall not suppress the free will of the soliciting subject and that the solicitation shall not make life difficult for the soliciting subject's family. If a juridical person commits a prohibited act, a correction order is issued, and a person who repeatedly violates the order is subject to imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to 1,000,000 yen. If a juridical person violates its duty of care, the name of the juridical person will be made public. It was also stipulated that contracts for donations or sales of goods through spiritual sales, i.e. inducing psychological fear or promising spiritual salvation, can be revoked up to 10 years after the contract is concluded and up to three years after the target of the solicitation becomes aware of the damage. In addition, it is also stipulated that donations contracted while the target of the solicitation is under brainwashing can be cancelled. The law also stipulates that the victim's family can also revoke the donation due to improper solicitation, and that the victim or his/her family can claim from the juridical person the amount of past damages as well as living expenses and child support that the child or spouse is entitled to in the future. The new law then defines spiritual sales, in which a contract can be rescinded, as soliciting donations or selling goods after taking advantage of the anxiety of the target of the solicitation or causing the target of the solicitation to become anxious.Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food SafetyTaro Kono will have jurisdiction over these laws.
These bills were supported by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, and opposition parties the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), Nippon Ishin no Kai, and Democratic Party for the People, and opposed by the opposition parties the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and the Reiwa Shinsengumi. The CDP had opposed the bills, seeking legislation to more strictly restrict religious organisations, but switched to support it after a clause to review the law two years later was specified in the bills. According to the CDP and some Unification Church victims, legislation to restrict religious organisations even more strictly is needed. The JCP had proposed another bill to restrict religious organisations and therefore opposed the bills.Sayuri Ogawa, who was invited to spectate the parliamentary session when the bills were being passed, was grateful of the new laws to be made in such a tight schedule of the parliament, but she also stressed that there are still many challenges ahead [surrounding the UC and its victims] with the most pressing one being passing new bill protecting children from religious abuse; Lawyer Hiroshi Yamaguchi who represents Zenkoku Benren wished that there would have been more time to make a solid bill. He worried that under the new laws it would still be difficult to prove that the claimant's free will was being suppressed when accepting the transaction, also the definition of what allows the victim's child or spouse to demand restitution on behalf of their relative was too narrow to be practical.
Criticism on media integrity
While Japanese media outlets face accusations of vilification from the Unification Church after the assassination, they are also being criticised for their silence on the scandal before this incident. Le Figaro reported that in their initial reports about the suspect's motives, most Japanese news outlets were complicit in concealing the identity of the Unification Church, referring to it as a "specific religious organisation" (特定の宗教団体). Journalist Eito Suzuki criticised the Japanese mainstream media for failing to monitor the relationship between the church and politicians until this incident. This inability to address societal issues is being likened to the scandal involving J-pop giant Johnny Kitagawa, who was accused of sexually abusing his artists. The Kitagawa scandal only received extensive media attention in Japan after a BBC documentary on the matter was aired in March 2023. This subsequently led to several major news outlets, including NHK, issuing mea culpas in recognition of their years of silence that effectively allowed Kitagawa's sexual abuses to continue unabated.
A Buddhist funeral for Abe took place at Zōjō Temple on the next day. The ceremony, conducted by priests from the Jōdō-shū tradition, was restricted to Abe's family and select others from the LDP. Following the funeral, Abe's casket was transported through the Nagatachō district with large crowds watching the procession from the pavements. The casket was driven past LDP headquarters, the National Diet Building and the Prime Minister's Office before being taken to Kirigaya Funeral Hall in the Shinagawa ward for a private funeral. During the funeral, Abe received a posthumous name that reflected his life on the political stage.[f] A farewell ceremony has been planned for sometime after the funeral and the traditional 49-day mourning period. The location is planned to be within the Yamaguchi 4th district and within Tokyo.
On 12 August 2022, the UPF held an international conference in Seoul which was attended by foreign dignitaries such as Mike Pompeo, Newt Gingrich, and Stephen Harper. None of the dignitaries from Japan attended. Part of the venue was dedicated to giving a memorial service for Abe. While not attending personally, Donald Trump and Mike Pence's video messages were also played during the event. The event stated that Abe died while participating in a movement for peace.
State funeral of Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Kishida reads Abe's eulogy in his state funeral in Nippon Budokan
On 14 July 2022, six days after the assassination, the Kishida Cabinet formally decided a state funeral of Abe to be held on 27 September at the Nippon Budokan. The cost of the entire ceremony would be paid by the national coffer, drawn from the "annual contingency fund" which was meant for emergency situations like natural disasters. On 26 August, the cabinet approved a budget of 249.4 million yen (about US$1.8 million in August 2022) which did not include the cost of security, but in an estimation announced by the cabinet on 6 September, the grand total of the actual cost with inclusion of security (800 million yen), hosting foreign dignitaries (600 million yen) and other miscellaneous cost (10 million yen) would be at least 1.66 billion yen. The cabinet made the decision without seeking consensus in the parliament, but attempted to convince the opposing lawmakers after they finalised the decision. Kishida insisted pushing forward the state funeral on the grounds of Abe being the longest serving prime minister of Japan, as well as his achievements on domestic affairs and foreign policies. On the other hand, Kishida reaffirmed that, similar to Yoshida's state funeral, the government would only plead with, but not mandate the public to mourn Abe during his state funeral.
There was one precedent of a state funeral for a post-war Japanese leader, Shigeru Yoshida, held in 1967 which cost 18 million yen in taxpayer funds. Originally the "State Funeral Decree" (国葬令) was enacted in 1926 by the end of Taisho period. Articles three and five stipulated that the "prime minister shall conduct a state funeral for any one who made exceptional contribution to the country not of the imperial family under the Emperor's decree". After the Second World War, the new Constitution of Japan went into effect in 1947, and the State Funeral Decree was declared null and void. Although the state funeral for Yoshida decided by the then Prime Minister Eisaku Satō lacked any constitutional basis, by that time, only the Japanese Communist Party opposed the decision. Post-war funerals for the Emperor of Japan, while technically following the custom of a state funeral, have been known as the "Ceremony of the Imperial Funeral [ja]" since 1947.
Kishida's determination to hold Abe's state funeral was described by the media as a form of "funeral diplomacy [ja]" to convey his will to inherit Abe's legacy domestically and internationally. However, when compared to the state funeral of Elizabeth II held on 19 September, one week before Abe's state funeral, the media pointed out that the foreign dignitaries attending Abe's funeral were less influential, comprising mostly former heads of state, and none of the incumbent leaders of the G7 attended. Nippon TV cited an anonymous government official who explained that many leaders who attended Elizabeth II's funeral were unsure if it was appropriate to conduct two consecutive trips abroad in such a short period of time. All-Nippon News cited another official who commented that there were almost no notable foreign dignitaries who could attend, and that Kishida was wrong for being overly optimistic of his "funeral diplomacy" plan. Among those who received but eventually turned down invitations were Barack Obama,Donald Trump,Joe Biden, Angela Merkel, and Emmanuel Macron.Justin Trudeau cancelled his schedule three days before the funeral as Hurricane Fiona, a category 4 tropical cyclone, was causing serious damage across Atlantic Canada.
Representatives from 218 foreign countries, regions and international organisations attended the funeral, which included heads of state and government as well as ambassadors and cabinet members.
On 20 September 2022, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated that he would not attend Abe's state funeral. Kan's predecessor, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also did not attend Abe's state funeral.
The decision to hold a tax-funded state funeral was a radically different from the funerals for other post-war Japanese leaders, which had been jointly organised and funded by the Cabinet and the LDP. It was met with mixed reactions, as there was no legal founding that clarified eligibility or how a state funeral should be conducted. An injunction requesting a suspension to the Cabinet's decision and budget for the event had been filed at the district courts in Tokyo, Saitama, Yokohama and Osaka by civil groups on 21 July, which stated the lack of parliamentary approval and infringement of a constitutional right to freedom of belief. All these lawsuits were dismissed by all courts on 9 September. On 12 September, the Japan Congress of Journalists [ja] (JCJ) issued an appeal letter in opposition to Abe's state funeral, citing unfavorable polling data of the state funeral across the news agencies. The letter condemned the 2015 Japanese military legislation (legalisation of Japan's right to collective self-defense), one of Abe's controversial legacies during his tenure, which was described by JCJ as destroying the Constitution and peace diplomacy of Japan, but Kishida attempted to praise such legacy via a state funeral paid by taxpayers' money. Anti-cult journalist Eito Suzuki expressed his concern that Abe's state funeral could be used by the Unification Church to lure more victims into their organisation because of Abe's overt endorsement of their leader Hak Ja Han. On 22 September, in a third press conference held by the Unification Church in response to the assassination and spiritual sales, they would announce their support for Abe's state funeral out of "tremendous respect" for Abe.
Opponents of the state funeral organised public rallies. One on 22 July, about 400 people gathered before the Prime Minister's Office. A second one on 16 August had more than a thousand people marching peacefully on the street of Shinjuku in Tokyo. A third one on 31 August organised by the opposition parties saw more than 2500 people protesting before the National Diet Building. On 19 September, two separate anti-state-funeral rallies occurred in Shibuya and Sapporo. On 21 September 2022, a man, believed to be in his 70s, set himself alight near the Prime Minister's Office, after apparently writing an anti-state funeral note.
On the day of the state funeral, about 20,000 police officers were deployed around Budokan to maintain law and order. About 3,000 opponents of the state funeral, led by opposing parties, marched from the Diet to Budokan. On their way, they clashed physically with proponents, while police officers attempted to separate the two parties outside of Budokan.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, many people were in favour of a state funeral, partly due to the shock. As the controversial relationships of the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the UC were revealed in an investigation, public opinion began to voice "opposition to state funerals". Koji Nakakita, a professor of political science at Hitotsubashi University, commented on the reason for the increase in public opinion against the state funeral, saying, "The biggest problem is the issue of the former Unification Church. When the shooting occurred, some people sympathized with it as 'blasphemy against democracy'. However, the tide turned sharply when the problems of the cult came to the surface." He pointed out that Abe and others had received cooperation from the cult during the national elections, commenting, "Was the former Unification Church used to win?"
In the aftermath of the assassination, the Nara City government considered erecting a monument on the site where Abe was shot. After opposition from residents, the plans were abandoned, and an unmarked flowerbed that was part of an already planned redevelopment scheme of the area now serves as a de facto memorial. The exact spot of Abe's assassination is the middle of a newly repaved road that was opened for traffic in April 2023.
Video capturing the surrounding area of the assassination from the sky by the television station was widely shared online by conspiracy theorists as a proof of Abe's death by sniper rifle, instead of Yamagami's homemade gun, from the roof of the nearby shopping mall Sanwa City Saidaiji. The conspiracy theory claimed that there was a white tent spotted on the roof of the mall in the video, and that tent was used as a hideout by the sniper. The management company of Sanwa City Saidaiji clarified that the tent was set up for the purpose of cleaning the ventilation ducts, and denied the possibility that it could have been used by anyone without authorisation. A comedian admitted that he was responsible for spreading this conspiracy theory online. After receiving criticism, he published an apology video on YouTube.
Several media outlets misidentified the video game developer Hideo Kojima as the assassin. The misreporting allegedly stemmed from jokes on the online message board 4chan and Twitter that were taken as fact and subsequently published by the far-right French politician Damien Rieu [fr], the Greek news outlet ANT1, and the Iranian website Mashregh News. ANT1 additionally reported that the suspect was "passionate about Che Guevara". ANT1 uploaded the broadcast to its YouTube account, but later removed it. Rieu took down the original tweet and issued an apology. Kojima's company, Kojima Productions, condemned the false reports and threatened legal action against those perpetuating the rumour.
Thirty minutes after the shooting, a threatening phone call was made to Matsuyama's office, where Abe had been initially scheduled to deliver a speech. A suspect was arrested on 9 July for making threats.
The Hyogo prefectural police are investigating a death threat and resignation demand for Akashi Mayor Fusaho Izumi, who previously served as an aide to the assassinated lawmaker Kōki Ishii.
Thailand additionally tightened security around its government officials and planned to increase security at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, due to be hosted in Bangkok on 17–18 November.
Incumbent prime minister Fumio Kishida called the assassination an "unforgivable act" and an "act of cowardly barbarism". Noting that Abe was shot while delivering a campaign speech, Kishida also denounced the assassination as an attack on Japan's democracy and vowed to defend a "free and fair election at all costs".
Before Abe's death was announced, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike stated that "no matter the reason, such a heinous act is absolutely unforgivable. It is an affront against democracy."Kazuo Shii, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, called the assassination "barbaric", an attack on free speech and an act of terrorism in a post to Twitter. Tomohiko Taniguchi, a former advisor to Abe, compared his death to the assassination of John F. Kennedy in terms of likely social impact in Japan.
Tomoaki Onizuka, head of Nara Prefecture Police, acknowledged security lapses at the political rally where Abe was killed, and pledged to identify and resolve the flaws, "It is undeniable that there were problems with the security for former prime minister Abe, and we will immediately identify the problems and take appropriate measures to resolve them".
National days of mourning were declared in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cuba and Sri Lanka, with all countries flying their flags at half-mast on their respective days of mourning. In Bangladesh, a day of state mourning was declared for 9 July.Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, ordered three days of national mourning in Brazil, which is home to the world's largest population of Japanese descent outside of Japan.Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, announced that India would observe a day of national mourning on 9 July; Modi's reaction was regarded by some as an extremely personal one compared to other world leaders particularly for his addressal of the former Prime Minister as "Abe-san" in his blog where he paid tributes. Nepal and Bhutan declared their respective days of mourning for 9 July. Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen announced 10 July as a day of national mourning with entertainment venues being closed for that day. Cuba observed a day of national mourning on 11 July. On 12 July, Sri Lanka observed a day of national mourning with its flag flown at half-mast on state buildings. While formal mourning days were not proclaimed in Thailand, the government did fly flags at half-mast on 8 July, and the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha paid a visit to the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok to pay respects in person.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog paid tribute to Abe as "one of Japan's most preeminent leaders in modern times", noting that he had been "deeply impressed" by Abe's "leadership, vision and respect for Israel" during his visit to the Jewish state in 2018.
Releasing a joint statement, the leaders of the Quad nations of Australia, India, and the United States noted that the organisation would redouble its work towards "a peaceful and prosperous region" in honour of Abe. The White House noted that Abe played a formative role in the founding of the Quad partnership and worked tirelessly to advance a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. In his official statement regarding the assassination, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau seconded the calls made by the Quad.
President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen announced that the nation would observe a national day of mourning on 11 July, with the flag of Taiwan flown at half-mast.Taipei 101 was also illuminated in multiple messages mourning the death of Abe.Lai Ching-te, Taiwan Vice-president, visited Abe's residence as a special envoy of President Tsai to mourn Abe, along with Frank Hsieh, Taiwan's envoy to Japan, on 11 July. Lai became the highest-ranking Taiwanese official to visit Japan in 50 years after Japan severed its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan in 1972 in favour of China.
Individuals, non-governmental organisations and sports
Despite official condolences sent by the Chinese and South Korean governments, many Chinese and South Korean internet users were unsympathetic to Abe's death. This stemmed from grievances concerning historical colonialism and war crimes by Imperial Japan, and towards nationalist Japanese politicians – including Abe – who denied or questioned some accounts of the atrocities. In Japan, the assassination led to a renewed level of scrutiny of the ties between the Unification Church and the Liberal Democratic Party, with the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun running an editorial denouncing the LDP's ties to the organisation; anti-Unification Church slogans trended in Japan on social media platforms, and an online petition was launched seeking to deny Abe state honours due to his ties to the group. As of August 2022, approval for the Kishida government had fallen by 12%, and polling suggested that a majority of Japanese citizens were opposed to Abe being given a state funeral.
The UN Security Council paid tribute to Abe, saying, "He will be remembered as a staunch defender of multilateralism, respected leader, and supporter of the United Nations."
The American magazine Time unveiled the cover of its next issue, prominently featuring Abe's portrait in black and white. This was Abe's fourth time featured on the magazine, with Time writing Abe would be "remembered for remaking Japan".
^ abWhile many sources report the weapon to be a shotgun, the Nara Prefectural Police Department reported that the weapon was a pistol. According to the police, the suspect called his homemade gun used in the assassination a "shotgun" (散弾銃).
^In Japan, one unit of normal blood transfusion is about 200 millilitres. However, in the case of acute blood loss, the patient is instead administered "red blood cell transfusion" which is 140 millilitres per unit, in other words Abe was administered 14,000 cc (14 L) of blood.
^Unification Church's Tokyo chair claimed that Yamagami's mother first joined their church in 1998 during the 11 July 2022 press conference, Yamagami's paternal uncle claimed that it was around 1991 while being interviewed by press on 15 July 2022. Yamagami's alleged Twitter account claimed that the UC stole his family's wealth when he was 14, adding to Yamagami's birth year of 1980, this would suggest the financial woe of his family caused by the UC began no later than 1994.
^Also romanised as Song Joo-yeol. His name is localised as "ソン・ジュヨル" (Son Ju Yoru) by Japanese media.
^There are records of systemic persecution against foreign missionaries in Japan which predates Tokugawa Hidetada's 1605–1623 ruling, such as the Bateren Edict issued in 1587. The "Expulsion of all missionaries from Japan" was issued in 1614 by Tokugawa Hidetada.
^Shiun-in Den Sei Yo Shō Jō Shin Jū Dai Kōji (紫雲院殿政譽清浄晋寿大居士)
^Hirotoshi Itō (14 July 2022). "「擁護はできないが、統一協会への恨みは理解できる」元信者が弁護士会見で明かしたこと" ["I can't defend it, but I understand the grudge against the Unification Church," a former believer revealed at a lawyer's press conference.]. Gendai Ismedia Kōdansha (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 July 2022. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
^"自己破産させられた信者はたくさんいる. 2世の苦しみがどんなにつらいか. 霊感商法弁護団が会見" [There are many believers who have been bankrupted by themselves. How painful the suffering of the second generation is. An inspirational commercial law defence team meets]. Bengo4.com (in Japanese). 12 July 2022. Archived from the original on 12 July 2022 – via Yahoo! News Japan.
^全国霊感商法対策弁護士連絡会 [National Inspirational Commercial Law Countermeasures Lawyer Liaison Committee] (in Japanese). National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022.
^ ab"安倍元首相が松山氏の応援取りやめ 参院選長野県区 女性問題など週刊誌報道受け" [Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suspends support for Nagano district House of Councilors candidate Matsuyama over sexual/female scandals, per weekly news reports]. Shinano Mainichi Shimbun [ja] (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
^"参院選 自民党・松山三四六候補が不倫の末、中絶同意書に偽名で署名していた" [House of Councilors LDP candidate Sanshirou Matsuyama had an affair, signed letter of consent for an abortion with false name] (in Japanese). Bunshun Online. 6 July 2022. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
^"自民ものまねタレントに「900万円踏み倒し」の過去 法廷で偽証を求められた知人が告発" [LDP impersonator is accused of soliciting false testimony from an acquaintance in case of previous 9 million yen debt]. Daily Shincho (in Japanese). 6 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
^"自民党奈良県連「脅しみたいのはこれまでなかった」" [LDP's Nara Prefecture chapter: "The apparent threat up to now is no more"] (in Japanese). FNN Prime Online. 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
^ ab自民奈良県連が会見 "演説７日急きょ決定 開始直後に発砲" [LDP Nara Prefecture Chapter Interview: Speech on the 7th decided upon suddenly, gunfire immediately after commencing]. NHK News Web (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
^"警察庁「警備体制が十分だったか確認の必要がある」 安倍元首相銃撃の現場には奈良県警と警視庁SP" [National Police Agency "It is necessary to confirm whether the security system was sufficient" Nara Prefectural Police and Metropolitan Police Department SP at the scene of the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe]. news.ntv.co.jp (in Japanese). 9 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
^"演説現場でも警視庁SPらが警護 逮捕の元海上自衛隊員の男 "特別な思想的背景"把握せず 安倍元総理銃撃" [Even at the speech site, the Metropolitan Police Department SP and others did not grasp the "special ideological background" of a former Maritime Self-Defense Force member who was arrested for guarding] (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
^"安倍元首相、銃撃の詳細判明 最初の発砲に振り向き、２度目で倒れる" [Former Prime Minister Abe details of shooting Turns to the first shot and collapses the second time]. Sankei News (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
^"「奇跡が起こってくれ、という一心でその場に」 安倍元首相の銃撃現場に駆けつけた医師が語った全て" ["On the spot, with the urge to make a miracle happen": All the doctors who rushed to the shooting scene of former Prime Minister Abe]. Yahoo! News Japan (in Japanese). Aera dot. Archived from the original on 12 July 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
^"【速報】安倍昭恵さんが病院到着 安倍元首相は今も心肺停止" [[Breaking news] Akie Abe arrives at the hospital Former Prime Minister Abe still has cardiopulmonary arrest]. FNNプライムオンライン. 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
^"病院に入る松野官房長官" [Secretary of State Matsuno entering the hospital]. Jiji Press (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022.
^"安倍昭恵夫人、後部座席で前を見据え頭を下げる 前後に関係車両５台、稲田朋美元防衛相らの姿も" [Mrs. Akie Abe looks forward in the back seat and lowers her head. Five related vehicles and former defence minister Tomomi Inada are also seen before and after.]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 9 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
^"安倍元首相、無言の帰宅 岸田首相、森・小泉氏ら弔問" [Former Prime Minister Abe, silent return home Prime Minister Kishida, condolences by Mr. Mori and Koizumi]. Jiji Press (in Japanese). 9 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
^"【速報】41歳の山上徹也容疑者を殺人未遂で逮捕 犯罪歴確認なし" [[Breaking news] 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami arrested for attempted murder No criminal history confirmed]. FNN Prime Online. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
^"山上容疑者は県内有数の進学校出身…卒業アルバムには笑顔の写真、将来は「わからん」" [Yamagami is from one of the prefecture's leading high schools — smiling photo in his graduation album, he "doesn't know" about his future]. Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 9 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
^TBS「石子と羽男ーそんなコトで訴えます？ー」(TBS Drama: ISHIKO and HANEO: You're Suing Me?) [@ishihane_tbs] (8 July 2022). "#ひるおび、#ゴゴスマ、#Nスタ の電波ジャックは中止となりました。" [[Notice] The radio broadcasts for #Hiruobi, #Gogosuma, and #N-sta have been cancelled.] (Tweet) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022 – via Twitter.
^町田啓太の〝自衛隊ドラマ〟に安倍元首相銃撃余波！ 犯人が元海自でフジ騒然 [Keita Machida's "Self-Defense Forces Drama" and former Prime Minister Abe's shooting aftermath! The criminal is a former Maritime Self-Defense Force] (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. 9 July 2022. Archived from the original on 12 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
^"安倍元首相銃撃事件 宗教団体代表"容疑者は団体に在籍せず"" [Former Prime Minister Abe shot, religious group head: "Suspect is not a member of the group."]. NHK NEWS WEB (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
^"宗教団体が会見「団体への恨みから殺害に至るまで距離があって困惑」 信者の容疑者母親の献金について「たどり切れていない」" [Religious group holds press conference: "We are puzzled by the distance between the grudge against the group and the murder" and "We have not been able to trace the donations to the mother of the suspect, who is a member."]. Yahoo! News Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
^「岸田を呼びつけ教育を受けさせなさい」安倍元総理銃撃から1年 旧統一教会の“焦り” [One year after the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe: The 'Anxiety' of the Unification Church - 'Summon Kishida and Make Him Receive Education'], TBS News (in Japanese), 8 July 2023, retrieved 1 August 2023
^【“統一教会”総裁】日本の政治家を批判 安倍元首相銃撃から1年 [President of the Unification Church criticises Japanese politicians one year after the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe], Nippon TV (in Japanese), 7 July 2023, retrieved 1 August 2023
^"安倍元首相の「国葬」9月27日実施で最終調整 政府" [Government finalizing plan for former Prime Minister Abe's "state funeral" to be held on September 27]. NHK NEWS (in Japanese). 20 July 2022. Archived from the original on 20 July 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
^「次はおまえだ」長野自民候補に脅迫電話か 安倍氏銃撃30分後 ["Next is you" A threatening call to the Nagano Liberal Democratic candidate or Mr. Abe 30 minutes after the shooting]. 毎日新聞 (in Japanese). 8 July 2022. Archived from the original on 9 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
^元内閣総理大臣安倍晋三氏を従一位に叙すること並びに大勲位菊花章頸飾及び菊花大綬章の授与について [Regarding the awarding of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the first rank and the awarding of the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum]. kantei.go.jp (Press release). Prime Minister's Office of Japan. 11 July 2022. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
^安倍元首相に最高位勲章 中曽根氏に続き4人目 [Highest-rank to former PM Abe, fourth after Mr. Nakasone]. Kyodo News. 11 July 2022. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
^ブリンケン国務長官による岸田総理大臣表敬 [Courtesy visit to PM Kishida by Secretary of State Blinken] (Press release) (in Japanese). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 11 July 2022. Archived from the original on 11 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.