After a brutal murder, Japan mourns and continues to live

TOKYO. The day after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a political rally, Japan’s police faced sharp questions about the adequacy of his security, even as parliamentary candidates resumed campaigning on Saturday in a sign that, despite the tragedy, the political led a life.

White vans drove through the streets carrying large photographs of politicians and shouting their names over loudspeakers. Candidates fought with supporters and took selfies. And politicians, many from Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, addressed voters ahead of Sunday’s election in the shadow of deep mourning.

Standing in a truck in the glitzy trendy Ginza district of central Tokyo, Akiko Ikuina, an LDP candidate and former pop idol running for a seat in Japan’s Upper House, wept, saying “those of us left behind should help make Mr. . Abe’s vision of our country has come true.” During a moment of silence, some of the hundreds of supporters in the hall wept.

Typically, during campaign stops in Japan, politicians communicate freely with voters, keeping little distance between themselves and the crowd.

But the ease with which a lone shooter could carry a makeshift weapon wrapped in tape to Mr. White. Abe, once one of the world’s most powerful leaders, may be causing some in Japan to rethink this openness.

Nerves on edge like the current prime minister Fumio Kishida, last campaigning in Yamanashi and Niigata prefectures on Saturday, police searched through the bodies of residents and ransacked rooftops. At one point, a guard stood so close behind Mr. Kishida’s back, convincing the crowd that the guard seemed to be glued to the prime minister’s back.

Following in the footsteps of Mr. Abe’s assassination – in a country where deaths from firearms raritynot to mention shooting major political figure “Japan was just beginning to deal with the shock.

Early Saturday morning Aki Abe, Mr. Abe’s widow accompanied his body in a hearse to his home in Tokyo from a hospital in Nara, where he died. mr. Abe’s parliamentary office said there would be a wake on Monday, followed by a funeral on Tuesday at one of Tokyo’s largest Buddhist temples.

The police were still looking for answers, and they didn’t say much on Saturday. In the absence of new information about the suspect, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, in custody, rumors circulated on social media.

The Nara Prefectural Police continued to interrogate Mr. Yamagami. At a press conference on Saturday afternoon, police told reporters that he took the train one stop from his area to the campaign rally site where the campaign rally was taking place. Abe was shot. They also stated that they found several bullet holes in a vehicle used by the LDP candidate on whose behalf Mr. A. Abe campaigned, but they did not elaborate.

At a press briefing in Nara on Saturday, Nara Prefectural Police Chief Tomoaki Onizuka acknowledged flaws in the protection system provided to Mr. Nara. Abe. “It is undeniable that there were security issues. Onizuka said.

On Twitter, Toshio Tamogami, the former Chief of Staff of the Japanese Air Force, appeared to be asking the question the country had after seeing numerous videos on television and social media, which showed the shooter walking unhindered past security before pointing a large makeshift gun at Mr. K. Abe.

“How did the police, security detail and other guards not notice the criminal who approached with a machine gun from behind?” mr. Tamogami wrote.

Neighbors Mr. Yamagami’s mother Yoko, also from Nara, said she kept to herself in a quiet residential area where older residents often stop to chat on the street. Kikuko Nakano, 73, who lives a few steps from Yamagami, said that although she had lived in the area for many years, she hardly ever spoke to the lady. Yamagami never saw Mr. Yamagami visit.

Hundreds of people in Nara on Saturday lined up to pay their respects to Mr. K. Abe at a makeshift memorial at the site near the Yamato-Saidaiji train station where he was killed. They left flowers, photographs and postcards, as well as snack bags and cans of beer and soda on tables set up under a white tent.

Police officers controlled traffic as mourners poured from the sidewalk into the street. They set up cardboard boxes to collect overflowing bouquets. Even when it rained at noon, visitors of all ages were queuing.

“If you ask who is the face of Japan, it will be Mr. Abe,” said Miharu Araki, 24, a former Nara resident who traveled from Osaka, about 20 miles away, to visit the site after being glued to the TV all day on Friday to get news about mr. Abe.

In Tokyo, when the political candidates completed their campaigns, life went on as usual. In Shibuya, the city’s popular shopping and entertainment district, fashion stores were packed with crowds and cafes and restaurants were crowded. The Tokyo Dome flag was at half mast when the Yomiuri Giants played the Yokohama DeNa Baystars, but there was not a moment of silence before the game.

Outside of the baseball stadium, couples were trying to win stuffed animals in an arcade. The queue crawled out of the doors of the nearest store. Makiko Kawasaki, 29, who planned to ride her 3-year-old on a Ferris wheel, spoke out about Mr. Abe’s murder and didn’t change her plan to skip Sunday’s vote.

“I’m not particularly interested in politics,” Kawasaki said. And my husband’s birthday is tomorrow.

At a campaign rally in Shibuya in support of 37-year-old Taku Yamazoe, a member of the Communist Party of the upper house of parliament seeking re-election from the Tokyo constituency, volunteers held signs with slogans such as “Raise the minimum wage to 1,500 yen an hour.” or “Legalize same-sex marriage.”

In an address to supporters, G. Yamazoe turned to Mr. Abe. “We will not tolerate the suppression of free speech,” he said. Yamazoe said. “Violence is not democracy.”

Some of Mr. Yamazoe’s supporters said they were concerned that the assassination might encourage some people to vote for the LDP, even though the party had a strong chance of winning anyway.

“I hope tomorrow’s vote doesn’t affect what happened,” said 20-year-old Natsumi Takahashi, a college student who was eating ice cream from a cup while listening to Mr. Natsumi’s speech. Yamazoe says. “I’m a little worried.”

She said she disagreed with some of Mr. Abe’s statements on gender relations. “I want people not to forget what a politician he was when they vote tomorrow,” the lady said. Takahashi.

Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida reported from Tokyo. Daisuke Wakabayashi reported from Seoul. Hisako Ueno reports from Nara.