Japan national police chief resigns over Abe assassination

Itaru Nakamura, commissioner general of the National Police Agency, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on August 25, 2022. – The head of Japan’s National Police Agency announced his resignation on August 25, 2022 after an investigation confirmed “shortcomings” in the security plans for assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe. (Photo by JIJI Press / AFP) / Japan OUT

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The head of Japan’s National Police Agency announced his resignation on Thursday after an investigation into security for former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated last month.

“We have decided to shake up our personnel and start afresh with our security duties, and that’s why I tendered my resignation to the National Public Safety Commission today,” Itaru Nakamura told reporters.

He made the announcement at a press conference detailing the findings of an investigation into flaws in how the former prime minister was protected.

“As we scrutinised and reflected on the incident, we decided to start over and overhaul our security system,” Nakamura added.

Abe was shot and killed on the campaign trail on July 8 in the Nara region.

This image taken from video provided by witness Toshiharu Otani and released via Jiji Press shows former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe delivering an election campaign speech at Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji station square in Nara before he was shot. – Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe has been confirmed dead after he was shot at a campaign event in the city of Nara on July 8, 2022, public broadcaster NHK and Jiji news agency reported. (Photo by Toshiharu Otani / JIJI PRESS / AFP) 

His suspected killer was detained at the scene and is believed to have targeted Abe because he thought he was linked to the Unification Church.

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

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

© Agence France-Presse

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