Police admit security flaws as body of assassinated former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is taken home

Source: news.sky.com : 2022-07-09 04:06:00 :

Shinzo Abe’s body has been taken back to his home, as police in the city where the former Japanese prime minister was assassinated admitted security flaws.

Mr Abe, 67, was shot twice from behind while speaking at a campaign rally in the city of Nara – the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese prime minister since the 1930s.

He sustained two deep neck wounds that damaged an artery, and died five-and-a-half hours after the late morning attack.

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
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Mr Abe sustained two neck wounds and died a few hours after the attack
People pray at a makeshift memorial near the scene where the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot. Pic: AP
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The assassination has shocked Japan. Pic: AP

Police said 41-year-old Yamagami Tetsuya, who was tackled and arrested moments after the incident, admitted shooting Mr Abe with a homemade gun.

“We can’t deny that there were problems with the security plan given how things ended,” Nara prefectorial police chief Tomoaki Onizuka said.

“I feel a grave sense of responsibility.”

Tetsuya said he held a grudge against a “specific organisation” and believed Mr Abe was part of it, police said.

However, the grudge was not about politics and it was not clear if the unnamed organisation actually existed, officers added.

Tetsuya was reported to be an unemployed factory worker who had also been a member of Japan’s Maritime Defence Force.

A man believed to be the suspect is held by police. 
Pic: Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters
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A man believed to be the suspect is held by police.
Pic: Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters

LDP officials pray to the vehicle believed to be carrying the body of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
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Officials pray to the vehicle believed to be carrying the body of former Japanese prime minister

On Saturday, a steady stream of mourners were visiting the scene in Nara as a motorcade thought to be carrying Mr Abe’s body left the hospital.

The motorcade, also carrying Mr Abe’s wife Akie, left the hospital in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, just before 6am, headed for his home in Tokyo.

People pray at a makeshift memorial near the scene where the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot. Pic: AP
Image:
The assassination has shocked Japan. Pic: AP

A night vigil will be held on Monday, with Mr Abe’s funeral to take place on Tuesday, attended by close friends, Japanese media said.

There was no immediate word on any plans for a public memorial service.

Chinese President Xi Jinping became the latest in a long line of world leaders to send a message of condolence on Saturday following Mr Abe’s death.

Tributes have also come from the leaders of the US, UK, South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Canada, France, Australia, Ukraine, Russia and New Zealand, among others.

Meanwhile, campaigning resumed on the final day of electioneering before voting for the upper house of parliament.

The election is expected to deliver victory to the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with the Liberal Democratic Party, where Mr Abe retained considerable influence, expected to gain seats.

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