Japan’s police chief resigns after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s murder

Japan's police chief resigns after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's murder

Japan’s national police chief resigns. Itaru Nakamura told a news conference that the force wanted to start with a “clean slate” after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We have decided to reform our workforce,” the commander said. “We’ve found that our system needs a fresh start so this doesn’t happen again.”

It is not clear when Nakamura will leave. Immediately after the July 8 attack, the commander said the police had “failed” in their task of protecting people. The Nara police chief, where the assassination attempt took place, also resigned.

Abe was shot in the back during a speech in early July. The 67-year-old former prime minister was hit in the back and neck and died of his injuries several hours later.

The suspect who was arrested, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was a member of the Japanese Navy until 2005. Experts said the assassination attempt would not have been fatal if the security personnel present had acted more appropriately. For example, there was 2.5 seconds between the first and second killer shot. Experts concluded that at that time, security personnel should have protected Abe.

Abe served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020. At the end of August 2020, he announced his resignation due to health problems. Abe was the country’s longest-serving prime minister. He was also the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for a long time. He remained active in his party after his resignation.

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