Japan’s Police Chief Takes Responsibility For Shinzo Abe Killing

·2 min read
Asahi Shimbun
Asahi Shimbun

The police chief of the prefecture where Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated said he “take[s] responsibility” for security failures that resulted in the killing.

At a press conference on Saturday, Nara Prefectural Police Chief Tomoaki Onizuka said that Abe’s security followed his own approved plan.

“As the regional police chief responsible for safety and security of the region, I took necessary steps and built structures for security and guarding,” he said. “I believe it is undeniable that there were problems with the guarding and safety measures for former Prime Minister Abe.”

“After the first report of the incident came at 11:30 a.m., and the situation was revealed, it was the height of the guilt and regret I’ve felt in my 27 years in law enforcement,” he said. “I feel the weight of my responsibility.”

<div class="inline-image__title">JAPAN-ABE/</div> <div class="inline-image__caption"><p>A vehicle believed to be carrying the body of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at his residence in Tokyo, Japan.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Kim Kyung-Hoon</div>
JAPAN-ABE/

A vehicle believed to be carrying the body of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at his residence in Tokyo, Japan.

Kim Kyung-Hoon

Abe, 67, was pronounced dead at at 5:03 p.m. local time on Friday, just over five hours after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech in front of a small crowd.

His alleged killer, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, used a homemade firearm in the attack and was taken into custody at the scene. Police are still investigating the motive for the killing.

The assassination sent shockwaves around the world given the attack happened in broad daylight in a country with one of the world’s lowest rates of gun related violence.

Japan’s National Police Agency has announced it will review security arrangements that were in place, according to NHK.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe arrive on Air Force One at Palm Beach International airport in 2017. </p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Joe Raedle</div>

Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe arrive on Air Force One at Palm Beach International airport in 2017.

Joe Raedle

Abe’s body arrived back in Tokyo Saturday afternoon with his widow Akie Abe traveling with her husband’s body to their home. The car was reportedly met by throngs of people lining the streets near Abe’s home.

A funeral will be held over Monday and Tuesday, Abe’s office told CNN. A wake will be held on Monday, followed by a memorial service on Tuesday.

Japanese voters will go to the polls on Sunday despite Abe’s assassination.

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