Latest Japan Updates: As Nation Mourns, Abe’s Security Matters Swirl

Credit…Asahi Shimbun, via Reuters

The day after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot in broad daylighta stunned nation wonders how the shooter was able to approach one of Japan’s most notorious politicians and fire two shots at close range without security intervention.

On TV and social media numerous videos gunman passing unhindered by security before pointing a large makeshift gun at Mr. Black. Abe. The first shot seemed to startle the former leader, and seconds later a second shot rang out and Mr. S. Abe collapsed to the ground. At that moment, a group of men who appeared to be part of his security force knocked the gunman to the ground.

The graphic footage raised questions about why the shooter was able to get close from behind the riser where Mr. Black was. Abe also talked about how, after the first shot, he was able to fire a second before he was stopped by security officers.

Toshio Tamogami, the former Chief of Staff of the Japanese Air Force, seemed to be asking a question that was on the minds of the entire country.

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

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 at a campaign event on Friday. “It is undeniable that there were security issues. Onizuka said.

However, the National Police Agency said there were no problems with Mr. Abe’s security service, according to Jiji News Agencyand that an armed officer of the Japanese Security Police was at the scene. This protective piece is a division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and performs a role similar to that of the Secret Service in the United States. A spokesman for the agency was not immediately available for comment.

According to Jiji, the agency said a lone security police officer present at the event saw the attacker but was unable to stop the shooting. The local police station in Nara said it also had officers guarding Mr. White. Abe, although they declined to give details on how many officers were deployed.

Danny Russell, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former assistant secretary of state who traveled extensively with President Barack Obama, said he was stunned by the lack of protection for Mr. Barack Obama. Abe during Friday’s election campaign.

“The suggestion that the security police could have been there and not only allowed someone to come so close to Abe with a makeshift weapon, but two shots were fired within seconds of each other,” he said. Russell said. “Why didn’t anyone stick their body in and knock Abe to the ground?”

The seemingly relaxed security around Mr. Abe is a by-product of Japan’s relative security, where violent crime and major riots at political rallies are rare.

Paul Nadeau, a former personal secretary and adviser to the Liberal Democratic Party MP from 2015 to 2018, said he attended election campaigns at which Mr. Putin spoke. Abe spoke, and that security was not overwhelming, even though he was prime minister at the time. He noted that he was guarded by six to twelve security police officers, but the level of security did not approach that of an American president.

mr. Nado, who is now an adjunct professor at Temple University in Japan, said he would attend party events where Mr Abe attended with several hundred politicians, aides and other affiliates without going through background checks, screening or a metal detector.

The closeness of candidates and voters was deliberate, he said, to create a sense of closeness and a sense that the politician was approachable. Safety was rarely considered.

“It never crossed my mind that you would ever need more security,” he said.

On Saturday, people who came to see the country’s current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, who was campaigning for his party’s candidates, faced tighter security than usual, according to local media reports that showed photos of rallies passing through metal detectors.

Motoko Rich as well as Hikari Hida made a report.


July 9, 2022

An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Toshio Tamogami. He is the former Chief of Staff of the Japanese Air Force, not the current Chief of Staff.