Questions Arise About Abe’s Security Protection After Assassination

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A day after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down in broad daylight, a surprised nation is questioning how the gunman was in a position to method one among Japan’s most distinguished politicians and hearth two photographs from shut vary with out safety stepping in.

On tv and social media, there are numerous videos of the gunman strolling unobstructed previous safety earlier than pointing a big, handmade gun within the path of Mr. Abe. The primary shot appeared to startle the previous chief and, just a few seconds later, a second shot was fired and Mr. Abe collapsed to the bottom. At that time, a bunch of males who gave the impression to be a part of his safety element tackled the gunman to the bottom.

The graphic footage has raised questions on why the gunman was in a position to method from behind the riser the place Mr. Abe was talking and the way, after the primary shot, he was in a position to hearth a second earlier than safety officers stopped him.

Toshio Tamogami, chief of workers for Japan’s Air Power, appeared to ask the query that was on the nation’s thoughts.

“How did the police, protecting element and different safety not discover the legal who approached with a gun from behind?” he wrote on Twitter.

The Nationwide Police Company mentioned there had been no downside with Mr. Abe’s safety, in accordance with Jiji News Agency and that there had been an armed officer on the scene from Japan’s Safety Police. That protecting element is a division of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Division and serves a task just like the Secret Service in america. An company spokesman was not instantly obtainable for remark.

The company mentioned the lone Safety Police officer on the occasion noticed the attacker however couldn’t cease the capturing, in accordance with Jiji. The native police division in Nara mentioned it additionally had officers there guarding Mr. Abe, though they declined to supply specifics on what number of officers have been deployed.

Danny Russel, a vice chairman of the Asia Society Coverage Institute and former assistant secretary of state who traveled extensively with President Barack Obama, mentioned he was surprised by the dearth of safety for Mr. Abe throughout Friday’s marketing campaign cease.

“The notion that the safety police might have been there and never solely allowed somebody to stroll up that carefully to Abe carrying a home made weapon, however there have been two photographs a number of seconds aside,” mentioned Mr. Russel. “Why did no person interpose their physique or wrestle Abe to the bottom?”

The seemingly relaxed safety round Mr. Abe is a byproduct of the relative security of Japan, the place violent crimes and main disturbances at political rallies are uncommon.

Paul Nadeau, a former non-public secretary and adviser for a Liberal Democratic Social gathering lawmaker from 2015 to 2018, mentioned he had attended marketing campaign stops the place Mr. Abe was talking and that safety was not overwhelming, although he was prime minister on the time. He famous that there have been round six to 12 safety law enforcement officials guarding him however that the extent of safety didn’t come near that of a U.S. president.

Mr. Nadeau, who’s now an adjunct professor at Temple College in Japan, mentioned that he would attend get together features the place Mr. Abe was in attendance with a number of hundred politicians, aides and different affiliated folks with out going by a background examine, screening or a steel detector.

The proximity of candidates and constituents was designed, he mentioned, as a part of a option to create a way of intimacy and a sense that the politician was approachable. Safety was not often thought-about.

“It by no means crossed my thoughts that you’d ever want extra safety,” he mentioned.

Motoko Wealthy and Hikari Hida contributed reporting



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