The head of Japan’s national police station announced his resignation on Thursday after an investigation confirmed “deficiencies” in security plans for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“There were deficiencies in the security plans and the risk assessments on which they were based, and the field commander’s leadership was inadequate,” Itaru Nakamura told reporters.
“The root of this problem lies in the limitations of the current system, which has been in place for years and in which the local police are solely responsible for providing security,” he added.
Nakamura said he would take responsibility for the shortcomings and resign from his position as police chief.
“We have decided to shake up our staff and start over with our security duties, which is why I submitted my resignation to the National Public Safety Commission today,” he said.
Abe was shot dead on July 8 on the campaign trail in the Nara region.
His suspected killer was detained at the scene and allegedly targeted Abe because he believed he had ties to the Unification Church.
Abe was Japan’s best-known politician and longest-serving prime minister, but safety was relatively light when he delivered a stupid speech on a street in the western region.
Local police in the area have already acknowledged “undeniable” deficiencies in the former leader’s security.
The man suspected of murdering Abe, Tetsuya Yamagami, is reportedly undergoing a psychiatric evaluation to determine his state of mind at the time of the murder.
Prosecutors are expected to determine whether Yamagami can be held criminally liable based on the investigation before making a decision whether or not to charge him.
Yamagami’s mother is said to have made large donations to the church, which blamed her son for the family’s financial problems.
Abe’s family held a private funeral for him shortly after his death, but a state funeral is also being held, with leaders from around the world expected to attend the event on September 27.
The event will be “non-denominational, plain and gloomy” according to the government, but the plan has met with some opposition, with criticism of the spending of public funds on a politician’s funeral.
While Abe maintained a prominent place in public life even after resigning for health reasons in 2020, he was also a divisive figure who faced accusations of favoritism and criticized for his staunch nationalistic views.