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Japan National Police chief resigns over Abe’s murder

#Japan #National #Police #chief #resigns #Abes #murder

The head of Japan’s National Police Agency announced his resignation on Thursday after an investigation confirmed “deficiencies” in the security plans for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“There were deficiencies in the security plans and the risk assessments on which they were based, and the field commander’s instructions were inadequate,” Itaru Nakamura told reporters.

“The root of this problem lies in the limitations of the system that has been in place for years, in which local police have sole responsibility for ensuring security,” he added.

Nakamura said he will take responsibility for the mistakes and resign from his post as police chief.

“We decided to shake up our staff and start over with our safety duties, and that’s why I submitted my resignation to the National Public Safety Commission today,” he said.

Abe was shot dead on July 8 while campaigning in the Nara region.

His alleged killer was arrested at the scene and is said to have targeted Abe because he thought he had ties to the Unification Church.

Abe was Japan’s best-known politician and longest-serving prime minister, but security was comparatively light when he made a blunt speech on a street in the western region.

Local police in the area have already acknowledged “undeniable” security lapses for the former leader.

The man suspected of killing Abe, Tetsuya Yamagami, is reportedly undergoing a psychiatric evaluation to determine his mental state at the time of the assassination.

Prosecutors are expected to use the investigation to determine whether Yamagami has criminal responsibility before making a decision on whether to charge him.

Yamagami’s mother is said to have made large donations to the church, which her son blamed for the family’s financial difficulties.

Abe’s family held a private funeral for him shortly after his death, but a state funeral will also be organized for world leaders on September 27.

The event will be “non-denominational, simple and somber” according to the government – but the plan has met with some opposition, with criticism of spending public money on a politician’s funeral.

While Abe maintained a prominent place in public life even after retiring in 2020 due to ill health, he was also a divisive figure who faced accusations of nepotism and was criticized for his staunch nationalist views.

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