crime

Before fatal shooting, Abe was up close with the crowd

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By Satoshi Sugiyama

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Ichikawa said he was struck by Yamagami's face as he fired at the former premier.

"It was just a normal expression," he said.

Police reported that it wasn’t Abe’s political beliefs that elicited dissatisfaction in the assailant, but polls repeatedly showed that Abenomics, Abe’s scandals, and his drive to write the Self-Defense Forces into Japan’s constitution elicited great dissatisfaction in most of Japan’s residents. 

I wonder whether police are reporting it this way to divert attention away from Abe’s constitutional reform drive so as not to impact tomorrow’s election. In fact, in April the Mainichi quoted a mid-ranking LDP legislator, who warned, "Mr. Abe is a powerful figure, but there is also a strong backlash against such an individual.” (“Japan's LDP features ex-PM Abe in constitutional reform drive, risking opposition backlash,” 4 April 2022)

15 ( +20 / -5 )

The gunman said he had a grudge against a Religious Organization? Could it he Sokka Gakkai?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

That’s not going to happen anymore, bet on it.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I cannot copy and paste the link here. Google "twitter sorrowandpain". Someone has taken a video of the whole thing just a few meters from Abe and shows the moment he went down.

His security team really dropped the ball big.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

So terribe and sad news. Just want to reach out to the Japanese people and express my sincere condolance.

I hope this event will not put an end to politicians ability to meet the people directly on the street.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I never particularly liked his politics but I kind of changed my mind back in 2014 or 2015 where he gave a pretty long speech, in English, to the US congress. The US is flying flags half mast over the weekend in tribute to him. I guess former prime ministers don’t get the kind of security detail that former US presidents receive. Sad. RIP.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

So he took the mask off to fire the weapon ?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Pathetic excuse for "Security"

RIP

2 ( +11 / -9 )

After the shooting, there seemed no coordination between the security. None were scouring the crowd for other 'assasins' or keeping them away from the injured. One was shouting to call for an ambulance. Guess such a safe country wasn't prepared for the psychotics and psychopaths

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Or maybe former prime ministers do receive full security detail but they’re unprepared for any kind of gun related incidents unlike their US counterparts who see that kind of stuff everyday.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

It was the second shot that killed Abe.

The first shot either missed or failed to launch a projectile.

All of the security team seemed to be completely taken unawares.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

His security team failed him.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Yesterday was a very sad day for all of us because the crazy won.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

The gunman said he had a grudge against a Religious Organization? Could it he Soka Gakkai?

What does Abe have to do with Soka Gakkai except for the fact that LDP and Komeito are in alliance.

And that also is an alliance of convenience. LDP gets the votes of Soka members and Komeito gets a seat on the table and an influence far above the number of seats they hold.

There was a time 3 decades ago when Soka Gakkai used to face attacks in Japanese tabloids and many of these could be traced back to people linked with LDP.

Either Abe’s assassin was unaware of all this, or this really is not about Soka Gakkai.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Mr. Abe Security will have to answer how did the killer get so close and was able hang around in the back for such a long time without being noticed?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I saw, or think I saw, an agent bring up a bullet deflecting briefcase to help deflect one of the shots. Directly in the line of fire, did his job.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

RIP Mr. Abe

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Wasn't Abes political beliefs that elicited

His drive to write the self-defense forces into Japan's constitution elicited great dissatisfaction

Constitutional reform drive

How are any of these NOT Abe's political beliefs ?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Shades of Yukio Mishima for me.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

This is a time when Nihon-jin/Japanese must come together to better understand each other . . . and help to remove differences among each other . . . .

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@yoshisan88

Thank you. It’s quite clear the first shot missed/misfired. It looks like some other guy collapses from it however (or maybe just duck away?). Anyway, Abe-san just completely freezes on the spot and looks towards the shooter. He seemed unprepared for these kind of events. I hope they give politicians better training and better security from now on.

RIP Abe-san.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

There is a high percent of probability that Abe san could have survived the blast had he been provided with light weight body armor. Certainly would have given his security time to respond.

Campaigning on a soap box in full public view provides a visible close target for an assassin.

I Couldn't Destroy This Body Armor...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs8Cym9wLSs&t=426s

Of course all with the benefit of hindsight. A thought for the future though

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Video showed a security guy right at the fence, nearest to the shooter just "duck" after the first shot. The second shot came 2~3 seconds later, he could've done something, just another "heiwa boke security" guy.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

It's being widely reported in the media that the killer's mother was a member of a "religious group" to which Abe was affiliated in some way, and had given large sums of money to the group, impoverishing the family. Her son blamed Abe and began planning to murder him earlier this year.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

My 2nd day living here in Japan and this happens. I am still in shock.

Tragic! Rest In Peace Mr. Abe. You didn’t deserve to die this way.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Gaijinjland

Today 07:47 am JST

Or maybe former prime ministers do receive full security detail but they’re unprepared for any kind of gun related incidents unlike their US counterparts who see that kind of stuff everyday.

A former Japanese PM and his family are long time family friends ( he passed away several years ago).

I was not a fan of his politics but his son and he were very close friends, so when elections came around he would ask me and my children to guide him around the neighbourhood.

I was always surprised that he ( former PM) would show up with just his 2 sons no security and we would all just walk around the neighbourhood, the shotengai, meeting people, etc..

I once asked why no security, his son explained that unless there is a specific threat, security is provided only to the past 3 PM the more recent having more security than the 2 previous.

The popular belief is that, Japan changed PM so often it was untenable to provide full security to all of them for life as in places like the USA.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It's being widely reported in the media that the killer's mother was a member of a "religious group" to which Abe was affiliated in some way, and had given large sums of money to the group, impoverishing the family. Her son blamed Abe and began planning to murder him earlier this year.

Basically, this religious organization scammed his family. Additionally, he is also likely a far-right nut, and Shinzo Abe has been widely hated by far-right nuts for being neoliberal and irresponsible for the failures of Abenomics.

Abe has too many people desiring him to die!

Shades of Yukio Mishima for me.

Far-right nuts hate him for not being right-wing enough!

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

It's being widely reported in the media that the killer's mother was a member of a "religious group" to which Abe was affiliated in some way, and had given large sums of money to the group, impoverishing the family. Her son blamed Abe and began planning to murder him earlier this year.

So even if that religious group is the Soka Gakkai, why was Abe the target?

The individual could have just shot up the Soka Gakkai headquarters in Shinanomachi.

Anyone who knows anything about Komeito will understand how much of antipathy the staunch LDP conservative support base used to have for Soka Gakkai, and the Soka Gakkai members (who were mostly pacifist and progressive) also had a certain amount of disdain for the conservatives and LDP. This was until 1999 when both parties launched an alliance, and many Soka Gakkai members then said that they will never vote for Komeito again.

There is more to this than what is coming out.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

One unhinged cowardly event, cannot and must not become the decisive element evidence that Japan communities be judged as unsafe.

I won't generalise, my own experience firstly as a resident, then as a citizen has been the very definition of peace and tranquility.

Early morning to travelling late at night I have, hand on heart never felt at risk, either on Kochi or Nagoya.

Now at my apartment in London, Shaftsbury Avenue, that is a different matter.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

After watching the latest video, I think Mr Abe could have been saved if the so called elite security aids had immediately grabbed him down to avoid the second shot.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I was in Japan for most of the years Abe was prime minister. He was such a familiar figure, and I am in disbelief for this cowardly act.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Seesaw7Today 10:38 am JST

After watching the latest video, I think Mr Abe could have been saved if the so called elite security aids had immediately grabbed him down to avoid the second shot.

police did their "best" and "traveller" have died.that rugby catch of guy with potential explosives on him dont need further comment too.incompetentness of police may be also another reason why videos were removed.but this washing hands in Pilatus style will not bring back his life anyway.

i hope all to be correctly checked and investigated,people in charge who did "their best" to be punished.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The gutless wonders that are Japanese news outlets.

During questioning, the suspect cited the name of a specific religious group and said, "I intended to target this senior official (of the group)." The named official, however, was reportedly not at the scene at the time.

Not one will say the name of the religion or the senior leader that was supposed to be there with Abe.

I am sure they all know but not one will say.

Useless news outlets in Japan.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

RIP Abe Shinzo,

Incompetent security police officers caused your demise!

Didn't even draw their pistol!!

Weak & inept!!!

How embarrassing, but a long bow & all is forgiven?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Members of Japan's version of the secret service, the elite Security Police, appeared to be standing at Abe's right and just behind him in their dark suits...

...There appeared to be a pause of 10-20 seconds before Yamagami was tackled, Nakajima said. Nara police told reporters they became aware of Yamagami after the first shot. They declined to say if security had been lax.

Ya THINK?

From what I saw / read / heard, hardly any of them, if any, were facing behind. Utter incompetence.

A 10-second delay proves this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Didn't even draw their pistol!!

Weak & inept!!!

The perp was on the ground and covered In policemen. What would be the point in security waving pistols around? This is Japan, not the Wild West.

Incompetent security police officers caused your demise!

No, the nutter with the homemade firearm caused his demise.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"What does Abe have to do with Soka Gakkai except for the fact that LDP and Komeito are in alliance."

You literally just answered your own question right there, buddy.

They are in a coalition together and maybe it's still an arguable point but these days many normal people see them as much more than an alliance of convenience but an actual earnest close alliance. Komeito may have used to troll them, and as you said, 30 plus years ago LDP may have been anti SG, but here in the year 2022 now they are closely allied, and Komeito is even making concessions regarding having a full offensive military. Anyway, if they have nothing in common and if Komeito were at all against LDP then how could they be in a single coalition bloc at all? Get real. Even if your ideas are somewhat based in reality and have some sort of sound logic, this dude was not, and anyway plenty of reasonable people these days see that obviously LDP and Komeito are literally working together, and that Komeito is of course run by SG. On a side note, why Pure Land Buddhists (the majority in Japan) would ever vote even for a party (LDP) who is aligned with groups (Komeito/SG) who wish them death (yes, see SG's publications right on their official websites in any language of NICHIREN's works which clearly state that all Amida devotees should be killed) is well beyond me.

Well, however the police say this group 'might not even exist' whereas of course SG does exist (as does the Moonies - another religion that Abe is associated with as a matter of fact), so it might be some fictional conspiracy theory 'religion' like illuminati. The anti-NHK party have accused Abe of being CIA and then I've seen some conspiracy theory posts online claiming CIA is Illuminati and therefore Abe is illuminati. The police should just clarify what group he mentioned. I guess they are investigating but still.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm in shock, what a terrible news...

Rest in Peace Abe San..

Thank you for your great work and dedication for Japan..

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There are all sorts of ridiculous reactions to this, with people saying democracy is under threat, that this will change history, etc. I agree with Itsonly that this just one twisted, social outcast or just a nutcase who got lucky on the day. No society can really protect itself from such occasional cases of violence except by trying to look after the mental health of everyone. There are always a few that are overlooked by keeping a low profile or isolating themselves.

Basically Japan is such a safe country that security in such situations can be lax. You can see in videos that no security staff are watching Abe's back. Everyone is facing him, no one is facing away from him. That is the basic error the security staff are guilty of.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

There’s allot of cold hearted people giving downvotes, really? I guess you folks didn’t like Abe.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Shinzo Abe was actually a lot more popular overseas as a familiar face of Japan than he was in his own country, I was personally devastated by his passing as I would usually quote him whenever I engage anyone on global politics. He wasn't a perfect politician, and there's the fact that he comes from an influential political family which may give people impression that he may have been far removed from the concerns of the common folk, but to a certain extent he proved he was different certainly one of the best politicians of modern day Japan. RIP Abe sensei.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They declined to say if security had been lax.

They declined because they know it was lax. All the security guys were

facing the same direction as Abe, If any was backing him the assailant won't have

been able to cross the road and get close to Abe to get a good shot. There are a lot

of questions that need to be asked unfortunately there will be no questions and it will

be repeat and rinse. It took 50 mins for the heli to get Abe to the hospital, why did it

take so long, nobody is asking that question. Akie reached Nara just some minutes before

the husband was declared death, it took her more than 5 hours. I guess she travelled by

Shinkansen, we are talking of a former PM, not just any PM, the longest serving PM and

there is no private jet to fly her to Osaka. Thirdly, Abe's remains accompanied by the wife

is being transported by road from Nara to Shibuya without any police escort, can the gov't,

the LDP or some rich individual not arrange to fly the remains. I am really disappointed at the

extremely low standards and lack of class.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Best quote since this whole thing went down.

@JtsnoseToday

This is a time when Nihon-jin/Japanese must come together to better understand each other . . . and help to remove differences among each other . . . .

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I recall the signs they posted as we used to leave the gates of Ramadi on patrols. “Complacency Kills”. The security team provides a great example of this.

I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief as the moment I first heard the news.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The popular belief is that, Japan changed PM so often it was untenable to provide full security to all of them for life as in places like the USA.

It is a shame gangster bosses get free security from the police funded by tax payers than former

pms. It is not a made up story but fact. There is a gangster boss living in Tamatsu Kobe not far from

Akashi kenritsu shimin hospital and there is always a police a car infront of the boss house providing

security.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

John Coffey, a lot of people (like me) did not like Abe much, or appreciate his politics, but also do not understand why people bother to downvote e.g. a clear message of condolence, like the one from Jan at 07:24. I hope I don't know any of them. This was a disgusting, cowardly act, and an affront to democracy and free speech. Abe Shinzo's wife, family and friends will be hurting terribly, some every day for the rest of their lives. Why would anyone downvote a message of sympathy?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

hampton

Social media platforms that allow for comments from people who can hide behind anonymous names are the reason for most of this type of behavior. At least your honest about your feelings toward Abe.

The comments on twitter are far worse and mainly from one side of the political divide.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Social media platforms that allow for comments from people who can hide behind anonymous names are the reason for most of this type of behavior. At least your honest about your feelings toward Abe.

The comments on twitter are far worse and mainly from one side of the political divide.

I think the downvotes is because a "RIP" alone adds nothing to the conversation. What's the point of even writing it. It won't be read by Abe's family or anybody for whom it matters.

It's like the one manager at work who always writes "Good one" where he had absolutely nothing to do with the project or whatever the congrats was for.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

After watching the latest video, I think Mr Abe could have been saved if the so called elite security aids had immediately grabbed him down to avoid the second shot.

After watching the full unedited video I feel the same. After the first shot there was 2-3 seconds before the second shot. During that 3 seconds the security did absolutely nothing. They didn't even turn around until the second shot went off. They should have immediately bundled Abe to the ground even if it was a car backfiring. It's their job. Now this leads to a bigger issue with Japan, an absolute lack of fast acting, fast thinking, intuitive action

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Who cares if it was a grudge, ultimately it is the Ego/conditioned mind off all humans that do this.

More people need to wake up to the parasite in our heads we call 'thinking' and be present to reality (this/here/now).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

After watching the full unedited video I feel the same. After the first shot there was 2-3 seconds before the second shot. During that 3 seconds the security did absolutely nothing. They didn't even turn around until the second shot went off. They should have immediately bundled Abe to the ground even if it was a car backfiring. 

All true, but it was far too late by then. If the weapon had been an actual shotgun the first shot - if it had hit of course- probably would have done the job. And if he'd had access to a decent, accurate rifle he could have done it from a rooftop somewhere.

The biggest failure of the security team was letting the guy get anywhere close to Abe, especially because he came up from the back, which is not where you'd expect a person actually interested in listening to the speech to be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just feel that

a. he was at work and died standing up ... 

b. he probably felt pain for 1 minute and lost consciousness ...

c. he was unlucky because : it could have hit him anywhere ... in a fleshy part or in the back or in his arm ...

d. he could have turned around in a different way or stepped off ..the 2nd projectile would have missed him.

Bad timing and bad luck.

RIP Abe San.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Before fatal shooting, Abe was up close with the crowd

Japan changes from today.

Extra security on the shinkansen for example.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There are 11 surviving prime ministers. They will be given extra security but election campaigning continues as before.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have already voted today so the process continues regardless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is such a safe country. They announced that only 10 were shot all year last year with a population of 123.8 million people. Therefore I can understand why everyone was shocked to what happened. I am too!

I am very sad and upset it happened.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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