A day after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in broad daylight, a bewildered nation is questioning how the gunman was able to reach one of Japan’s most prominent politicians and fired two shots from close range without security.
Available on television and social media Numerous videos Unrestrained security is walking past, before pointing a large, handmade gun at the gunman, Mr. Aber. The first shot shocked the former leader and a few seconds later, a second shot was fired and Mr Abe fell to the ground. At that moment, a group of people who seemed to be part of his security statement threw the gunman to the ground.
Graphic footage raises the question of why the gunman was able to come to the riser from behind the riser where Mr. Abe was talking and how, after the first shot, he was able to fire a second before security officers stopped him.
Toshio Tamogami, chief of staff of the Japanese Air Force, seems to be asking the question in the country’s mind.
“How did the police, defensive details and other security criminals not notice that the gunman advanced with a gun from behind?” He wrote on Twitter.
According to the Gigi News Agency, the National Police Agency said there was no problem with Mr. Aber’s security and that an armed officer from the Japanese security police was at the scene. That defensive detail is a division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and it plays a role similar to that of the United States Secret Service. An agency spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
The agency said the only security police officer at the event saw the attacker but could not stop the shooting, according to Gigi. Nara’s local police department said officers were also there to guard Mr Abe, although they declined to give precise information on how many officers were deployed.
Danny Russell, a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former assistant secretary of state who has traveled extensively with President Barack Obama, said he was shocked by Mr. Abe’s lack of security when the campaign closed on Friday.
“The idea was that the security police could have stayed there and not just allowed anyone to go near Aber carrying home-made weapons, but there were two shots a few seconds apart,” Mr Russell said. “Why didn’t anyone enter their body or throw Abe to the ground?”
The seemingly weak security around Mr. Abe is a by-product of Japan’s relative security, where violent crime and large-scale disturbances at political rallies are rare.
Paul Nadeu, a former private secretary and adviser to a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker from 2015 to 2018, said he took part in a campaign stop where Mr Abe was speaking and that security was not irresistible despite being prime minister at the time. He noted that about 6 to 12 security police officers were guarding him but that the level of security did not come close to that of an American president.
Mr Nadeu, now an assistant professor at Temple University in Japan, said he would attend a party where Mr Abe was present with hundreds of politicians, associates and other stakeholders without background checks, screenings or an examination. Metal detector.
The proximity of candidates and constituencies was intentional, he said, as a way to create a sense of intimacy and as part of creating a feeling that politicians can be reached. Security is rarely considered.
“It never occurred to me that you would need more security,” he said.
Motoko Rich And Hikari Hida Contributing Reporting.