Itaru Nakamura, Japan’s National Police Agency chief, said on Thursday (August 25) that he step down and take responsibility for the murder of former prime minister Shinzo Abe. Nakamura stated that there is a need for a “fresh start” for the organisation and its security duties.
While addressing a press conference, Nakamura said, “To make a fresh start (of the police organisation), I myself submitted my resignation to Japan’s national public safety commission. I would like to seek approval at the cabinet meeting in the near future.”
He also said, “The state funeral of former Prime Minister Abe will be held next month and the G7 Summit in Hiroshima will be held in May next year. In order to prevent such an incident from happening again, under a new system I believe it is necessary to firmly implement measures based on a new security plan.”
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Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving modern leader and the country’s best-known politician was killed on July 8 by a man when Abe was delivering a campaign speech in Nara. The assassination shocked the world.
Nakamura is the most senior official to step down in connection with Abe’s assassination. In the aftermath, several experts have said security was seriously flawed during the event.
Security experts noted that bodyguards could have saved Abe by shielding him or pulling him from the line of fire in the 2.5 seconds between a missed first shot and the second.
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Tomoaki Onizuka, who is the police chief of Nara, also announced his resignation on Thursday.
Last month, Onizuka said that there were “undeniable” flaws in security for the former prime minister. He has pledged an investigation. The police chief said he “take[s] responsibility” for the security failure that resulted in Abe’s demise.
(With inputs from agencies)
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