The 2.5 seconds that sealed the fate of Japan’s Shinzo Abe

by | Jul 19, 2022 | World

Bodyguards could have saved former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe if they shielded him or removed him from the line of fire in the 2.5 seconds between a missed first shot and the second round of gunfire that fatally wounded him, according to eight security experts who reviewed footage of the former Japanese prime minister’s assassination.The failure to protect Abe from the second shot followed what appeared to be a series of security lapses in the lead-up to the assassination of Japan’s longest-serving leader on July 8, the Japanese and international experts said.
Abe’s killing in the western city of Nara by a man using a homemade weapon shocked a nation where gun violence is rare and politicians campaign up close to the public with light security.
Japanese authorities – including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida – have acknowledged security lapses, and police say they are investigating.
In addition to the security experts, the Reuters news agency spoke to six witnesses at the scene and examined multiple videos available online, taken from different angles, to piece together a detailed account of the security measures ahead of his shooting.
After leaving 67-year-old Abe exposed from behind as he spoke on a traffic island on a public road, his security detail allowed the attacker – identified by police as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41 – to come within metres of Abe unchecked, carrying a weapon, the footage showed.
“They should have seen the attacker very deliberately walking towards the rear of the prime minister and intervened,” said Kenneth Bombace, the head of Global Threat Solutions, which provided security to Joe Biden wh …

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