The head of the police forces for the Japanese city in which former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated stated that he will be taking “responsibility” for the security issues that ended up letting the popular leader be killed.
The police chief for Nara, Tomoaki Onizuka, stated to reporters that it was the worst feeling he has ever experienced in his career and that police were already going over the various mistakes that were made in the securing of the area in which Abe was giving his political speech for a parliamentary candidate that was campaigning for re-election. he stated that he “take[s] responsibility” for the entire incident.
“It is undeniable that there were problems with the security for former prime minister Abe, and we will immediately identify the problems and take appropriate measures to resolve them,” explained Onizuka.
“After the first report of the incident came at 11:30 a.m., and the situation was revealed, it was the height of the guilt and regret I’ve felt in my 27 years in law enforcement,” he went on. “I feel the weight of my responsibility.”
Currently, police officials are still carrying out their investigation of the assassination and the motive behind it. These officials stated that the early evidence seems to suggest that the currently suspected killer, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, was not motivated by any political means. They also highlighted a possible link Yamagami had made between Abe and a “specific organization.”
Any names or extended details about the “specific organization” police spoke of have not yet been made public by authorities, but they plan to continue their investigations. Despite this, many sources have stated to one Japanese newspaper, The Mainichi, that the group they speak of was religious in nature.
Various sources reported to the paper that the suspect “targeted Abe out of resentment” and that he “intended to kill Abe” due to the fact that he alleged his mother handed over a large sum of money to a religious group he connected with Abe.
Apparently, he also stated to police that he knew the location Abe would be at due to an announcement from the website of the candidate that the former prime minister was speaking alongside.
“I learned of Abe’s campaign speech on the [candidate’s] website. I went to the site by train,” explained Yamagami, reported one source. The gun used by the suspect was entirely homemade, as reported by police officials.
The recent assassination came as a shock to many world leaders as many labeled Abe as a friend and heralded him for his diplomacy in regard to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, stating that the country has ended up losing a “close friend.” Over the past few years, Abe was quite vocal about the extreme need to support Taiwan.
“Not only has the international community lost an important leader, but Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend. Taiwan and Japan are both democratic countries with the rule of law, and our government severely condemns violent and illegal acts,” concluded Tsai.