As many of you know, in Japan’s western city of Nara earlier this month, Shinzo Abe – Japan’s longest-serving leader – was fatally shot. The shooter, a 41-year-old man called Tetsuya Yamagami, had a grudge against a religious group to which his mother donated money, ultimately leading to her bankruptcy. Yamagami believed that Abe was involved with this group, so on July 8, he took a homemade gun fashioned from wood and metal and shot the leader twice from several meters away.
Now, Japanese and international security experts have reviewed the footage. All of them agreed that if Abe had been removed from the line of fire in just 2.5 seconds, between the first shot where the shooter missed and the second that ultimately led to his death, Abe’s bodyguards could’ve saved him. Japanese authorities have acknowledged the security lapses, including the current leader, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. When the security analysis was brought to Nara’s Prefectural Police in charge of Abe’s security during his campaign visit, they responded that they were “committed to thoroughly identifying the security problems.”
“They should have seen the attacker very deliberately walking towards the rear of the prime minister and intervened,” said Kenneth Bombace, head of Global Threat Solutions, a company that provided security to US President Biden when he was running for the presidency.
“We recognise that there were problems not only in the on-site response, such as the security and protection set-up, deployment of personnel and fundamental security procedures, but also in the way the National Police Agency was involved,” said the National Police Agency, which oversees local Japanese police forces.
“Even if they missed that, there was a more than two-second window before the second shot, so they definitely could have prevented that. If Abe had been protected properly, it could have been avoided,” said Koichi Ito, a former sergeant at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s special assault team who is now a security consultant.
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