Mourning Abe, Japan's ruling party secures election win

STORY: With flags at half-mast, Japan mourned the killing of former premier Shinzo Abe on Monday (July 11).

As the country's governing party that he had dominated secured an election win.

One that gives Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the chance to cement his own power.

Mourners including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen streamed into a Tokyo temple for a private wake for Abe on Monday evening.

Japan’s longest-standing post-war prime minister was assassinated by a lone gunman while campaigning in the city of Nara on Friday (July 8).

The rare act of political violence has shocked the relatively crime-free nation.

Prompting the authorities to raise questions over Abe’s security arrangements.

The suspect, identified by police as Tetsuya Yamagami, an unemployed 41-year-old, told police he believed Abe had promoted a religious group to which his mother made a "huge donation," Kyodo news agency has said, citing investigative sources.

Various media outlets have reported that Yamagami told police his mother went bankrupt from the donation.

On Monday (July 11), the Unification Church - a controversial group known for its mass weddings and devoted followers - said the suspect's mother had been one of its followers.

Tomihiro Tanaka, president of the Japan branch of the church confirmed neither Abe nor Yamagami himself were members.

Adding that Abe was also not an adviser of the church.

Reuters was not able to contact Yamagami's mother and could not determine whether she belonged to any other religious organizations.

Meanwhile, at a political news conference, Kishida vowed to take up issues Abe was not able to resolve, such as revising the constitution.

Despite the LDP falling short of a simple majority on its own, the party and its junior partner Komeito won 76 of the 125 seats contested in the chamber, up from 69 previously.

With no elections set for another three years, the victory gives Kishida an unusually large breathing space to attempt to implement his ambitious agenda.

Although some analysts have said Abe’s death could lead to potential turmoil within the party.

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