[Reuters, Tokyo 8th]–In Japan, where political violence and gun crime are extremely rare after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead from a close distance during an election speech on the 8th, he defended a well-known person. Concerns are widespread. We asked overseas experts about the protection of VIPs in street speeches.
According to Paul Nedeau, who has participated in election campaigns with former Prime Minister Abe, Japan’s street speech is “close to a private event.”
“There are civilians nearby and they usually fill the square in front of the station,” said Nedow, a personal assistant to a LDP member and now a part-time lecturer at Temple University, Japan Campus (Tokyo). Pointed out. “I don’t feel any anxiety or danger,” he said.
Iwao Horii, a member of the House of Councilors from the Nara constituency, was next to him when Abe was shot. In Mr. Abe’s street speech, about 15 party members were in charge of organizing the audience, and local police and others were in charge of guarding, and it was not unusual.
Many people gathered at the recent election event attended by one of the most influential politicians, Abe, as the longest-serving prime minister. Despite its popularity, a LDP official told Reuters that Mr Abe’s level of protection is likely to have declined since he resigned as prime minister in August 2020.
The Nara Prefectural Police declined to answer whether the protection of experienced prime ministers would be insufficient, saying that it would hinder future protection activities.
<"Strict" gun control>
Gun control in Japan is very strict.
According to photos and videos at the time of the incident, the suspect shot Mr Abe with a gun that looked like two metal pipes wrapped in black insulating tape.
Grant F. Newsham, a former US Marine Corps colonel and senior researcher at the Japan Strategic Research Forum, believes the incident will strengthen security over political figures in Japan.
London-based Robert Ward, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank, said, “There will be questions about security. For example, it is clear that protection against Prime Minister Kishida was much more stringent.” Pointed out.
“However, being close to voters is a characteristic of Japan’s campaign. I have participated in election rallies, but I am close to the general public. Maybe it will change in the future. It’s a shame, “he said.