Itaru Nakamura, commissioner general of the National Police Agency
Crowd Applauds As Shinzo Abe Hearse Goes Past During Tokyo Funeral Photo by STR/JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images

Japan’s National Police Agency chief announced his resignation Thursday, following an investigation that revealed shortcomings in the security contingencies surrounding the assassination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 8. Chief Itaru Nakamura said he would take full responsibility for the failings of the agency and step down from his post.

According to CNA, Nakamura cited insufficient risk assessment in the security plans as well as flawed directions from the field commander. "The root of this problem lies in the limitations of the current system, which has been in place for years, in which local police bear sole responsibility for providing security," the police chief said.

Based on reviewed footage done by eight security experts, it was observed that deployed bodyguards could have saved the prime minister if they had shielded him or pulled him from the line of fire in 2.5 seconds between the first missed shot and the second shot which took out Abe to the ground. Local police that was detailed in the area also acknowledged “undeniable” flaws in security plans which they thought were comparatively light being that Abe was holding a speech in an open area. The National Police Agency's report stated that parts in the southern area of the podium were not properly guarded. This left a gaping route for the shooter to approach his target unchecked.

The tearful police chief said he took the prime minister’s death seriously as he announced his resignation but did not provide an official date. Japanese media reports said Nakamura’s resignation is expected to be approved during the upcoming Cabinet meeting. "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," he added.

“In order to fundamentally reexamine guarding and never to let this happen, we need to have a new system,” the chief noted.

Japan’s national police are seeking to ramp up dignitary protection staff in Tokyo. This also calls for designating greater supervisory roles for the national police for prefectural staff, strengthened training and a revision of its police protection guidelines. The agency has also asked for the implementation of digital technology and drones for proper surveillance measures.

Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister official residence on August 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation due to health concerns. Photo by Franck Robichon - Pool/Getty Images

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.