Japanese police admit security flaws for Shinzo Abe | International
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The north exit of Yamato Saidaiji station in Nara, the former Japanese capital, where the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took place on Friday, has become a center of pilgrimage. Right in front of the place where Abe was killed by the shot of a rudimentary weapon, made with sawn-off barrels, the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) installed an altar this Saturday with photographs of the former president and a caricature. The drawing portrays Abe between his father, the late former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, and his grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, famous for his role in the commercial exploitation of China during the Japanese colonization of the Manchukuo empire and a key figure in the founding of the PLD. The cartoonist wrote above the phrase: “You have left the fate of Japan in our hands.”
Hundreds of supporters paraded this Saturday before that altar carrying modest snowy bouquets. White roses, lilies and, of course, chrysanthemums, the flower that adorns the cover of the Japanese passport and Shinto temples, and whose symbolism is closely associated with the nationalist ideology of the deceased politician and his lineage. Despite the national mourning that Japan is experiencing, the current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reported this Saturday that the elections to the upper house this Sunday are held.
A couple in their fifties who had just offered white roses before the altar, joining their hands and bowing their heads, considers that the assassination could affect the image of the country, which, however, in their opinion, remains safe. The wife, who recalls that the use of firearms is highly controlled in Japan, criticizes the secret services that protected Abe for allowing a suspicious man “to come within three meters”, although he acknowledges that it was difficult to detect a homemade device it did not have the appearance of a firearm. Her husband adds that the only thing that will change is the way of campaigning. “But I hope that people go out on Sunday to vote because Abe-san [el señor Abe]He worked for it”, he affirms.
Precisely this Saturday, the Nara prefectural police chief, Tomoaki Onizuka, admitted security flaws in the murdered former prime minister. “I think it’s undeniable that there were problems with the escort and security arrangements for Abe,” he told reporters. Former Japanese prime ministers, such as Abe, travel accompanied only by a bodyguard. When they campaign in the streets, the police of each locality and the secret services provide security and have the responsibility to inspect the places where they appear in advance, and one day in advance.
Abe’s visit to Nara this Friday was impromptu. There was a last-minute change of plans and the president appeared unexpectedly in the square of the Yamato Daisanji station where at 11 in the morning people began to congregate to meet in person the politician they had seen the most in charge of his country.
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From his arrival at the scene of the crime to his capture, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, showed signs of aggressiveness. The Japanese are sparing in words and that is why, although he was wearing a mask, the defiant attitude was perceived above all in his gaze. When Abe spoke, Yamagami applauded listlessly, along with supporters of the former Japanese head of government. He was suddenly seen lifting a rudimentary artifact. The first shot was fired impulsively and missed. He stepped back and detonated his weapon again. Japanese televisions have a policy of not broadcasting real bloody images and that is why the moment of impact has not been seen. A photographer from the Kyodo Agency managed to take a photo of Abe knocked down, unconscious, surrounded by several women trying to help him.
The police investigate the aggressor’s background and even the versions of his biography that say he was part of the Japanese navy. Abe’s body arrived this Saturday afternoon at his home in Tokyo, aboard a hearse in which Akie, his wife, was going, and who had left the Kashihara hospital at dawn. The wake will be held on Monday. 24 hours later, the funeral will take place, which only his relatives can attend.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed this Saturday that the elections to the upper house scheduled for this Sunday will continue their course. Kishida, a member like Abe of the PLD, had participated in a morning campaign rally in Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, before 600 people, where he declared that “violence will not triumph over words,” reports France Presse.
Although the upper house is not the strongest in Japan’s bicameral parliament, a victory will give Prime Minister Kishida greater control over the LDP, within which Abe controlled one of the most powerful factions. Without Abe, Kishida is left without a mentor but he will also have less pressure to change the pacifist Constitution and will be able to focus on specific issues that are more pressing for voters, such as the sharp rise in prices of daily consumption items, the possible reactivation of closed after the Fukushima accident and the social policies to deal with the unstoppable aging of the population.
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