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Lack of security for Japanese prime minister surprised many

37 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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37 Comments
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Watching some of the videos repeated time and again on TV, it surprises me there appeared to be no security behind the PM and the crowd. At the time of the attack they show Kishida with his back to the crowd.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The prime minister is indirectly elected. The leader of the party which wins an election becomes the prime minister.

What happens if a party wins but the leader losses the election to the prime minister?

Would there have to be a new prime minister election every time one resigns or is forced out by a vote of non-confidence?

The election of the prime minister would require a change of the constitution.

I do not think there is a country that elects its prime minister.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Yubaru: That would be most unusual to have a directly elected Prime Minister - Remember that Japan has a monarchy and the the PM is NOT Head Of State. You may be able to find an example but I think you will find that most PM's around the world (the German Chancellor included) represent a local seat as part of their duties and that they just happen to be the leader of the largest party.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

For Hamada and other fishermen, there's worry also about the expected loss of income from the days they cannot work while the port facilities are closed for the investigation.

How much investigation is needed with the suspect arrested and ALL caught on surveillance and no doubt about 1,000 officers working on this?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Isao Itabashi, a public safety expert, said on NHK TV that the attack raised questions about how election campaigns are be carried out. Guarding top politicians in campaigns is logistically hard, and balancing tight security with a free election is also difficult, he said.

Why not just do away with the whole ridiculous pantomime of garish election posters, bullhorns in front of train stations and loudspeaker trucks screaming politicians names on weekends?

It is thankfully shorter than the over year long rope a dope of the American election campaign between the duopoly.

The politicians can just have indefinite terms until they are barely cognizant of their surroundings, like some Diet members and ministers.

When they get to feeble to perform their "duties", their posts can be passed on to a family member.

It would not differ much from the case now, and the dear political leaders would be much safer.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Masaki Nishide, a 55-year-old fisherman from Saikazaki, said most of the people at Saturday’s event were residents and supporters of the local candidate. He said the young man carrying the silver-gray backpack stood out.

“People here all dress like me, and nobody carries a backpack; it was only him,” Nishide said, wearing a sweatsuit and red rubber boots. “If I were in charge of security, I would have asked for a bag check.”

How about that…;

… even this fisherman knows that this ain’t rocket science.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why not just do away with the whole ridiculous pantomime of garish election posters, bullhorns in front of train stations and loudspeaker trucks screaming politicians names on weekends?

Not just weekends, weekdays too. And as much as I hate the noise and congestion, I would rather have it, than the drama queen saga that other places have.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japanese security seems to be pretty haphazard, ranging from polite requests to behave, all the way to urging people to behave.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The fishermen swarmed the attacker.“I never thought a crime like this would happen in my hometown, which is a rather small fishing area,” Konishi, 41, said Sunday as he sipped a can of coffee at the port of Saikazaki. “I’m still shocked and stunned."

The prime minister was unhurt but like many others in Japan Konishi was mulling Sunday what the country should do to better protect public figures.

Get the fishermen to do it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Any lapse of security here was definitely not caused by inaction of the Japanese government.

When insufficient security has already been identified as a serious problem, even to the point of letting an important political figure be killed, and the government demonstrate it is unable to even stop a criminal from throwing a bomb to the primer minister there is no other explanation. The government is still responsible for the security and it has obviously done nothing effective to prevent this from happening again.

This event shows not every incident is preventable considering how Japan politicians campaign.

No, it shows that these kind of incident are not prevented, not that they are not preventable. For that it would be needed first to show that every realistic measures was already in place, which is not the case, even according to the primer minister that says security must be increased.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not much they could do when someone hurls a device. BUT what did shock me was the device didn't immediately go off and they just let a crowd gather around a few meters away until it did go off...very lucky it was just a flash-bang and not serious explosive...why didn't they deisperse the crowd...why did everyone just mill around trying to 'see'.

That was the surprising and lax part of security.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Always expect the unexpected.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Police looked like a bunch of bumbling fools.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Not in this case, because Japan has had almost a year to make improvements with security, especially because its security lapse was seen and criticized by the world.

On the opposite, having had almost one year and still letting a criminal throw a bomb to a short distance from the prime minister clearly shows that the problem of insufficient security is still there. This is just another example where the security lapse is the target of criticism, even from the own Prime Minister and after more than enough time to do something to correct it.

And in fact, after Abe's assassination, security around Kishida was immediately increased

Increaseing something do not automatically make it sufficient. To prove that it would be first needed that the recent incident was prevented, not that it failed to kill the prime minister because of the incompetence of the criminal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Being surprised by a clear and serous problem not being corrected by the Japanese government (without endless red tape and at least a few years of lost time) is simply not paying attention to how things are done in the country.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It doesn't surprise me at all. Unless they're interrogating you for some petty crime they can convict you of, they're basically useless.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This is not your garden variety violent crime, especially after assassination Abe-san/sori.

People are right to be concerned, clearly flashing yellow light regarding stress levels both perceived and real. Pandemic, inflation, global tensions, militarization, military aircraft 'problems', weapons proliferation, NK's new weapons capabilities, economic stagnation, demographic collapse, rising debt levels, etc.

List's long indeed, question remains how to change the narrative/direction, 2023 not off to good start it seems...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Again, thank you Wakayama fisherman for your unpaid selfless bravery!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan has high security measures in place when arresting alleged criminals so it is easy to understand how they increased security protection for politicians as mentioned innthe article

Once again, increased do not mean the same thing as adequate or sufficient, putting one extra clueless cop around would be enough to claim the security increased, but the fact that an explosive devise could be thrown to the prime minister clearly proves it is not even close to being adequate.

No red tape to overcome to put more poouce on a detail

But a lot of it to make it actually effective at preventing incidents like the one that already happened.

not every event is preventable whether in a country known for its high security measures or not. 

The own primer minister disagrees with you when he said much more security is necessary, the argument that "it was not preventable" can only be used when all that is realistically possible is already in place, in Japan that is too obviously not the case as even this article makes painfully clear, no metal detectors, not even a bag check was performed.

Thankfully the increase in security prevented another pipe bomb from going off

That is not true, local fishermen did that, and the ineptitude of the criminal is what prevented the first one to be lethal, nothing of what was prevented depended on the security provided for Kishida.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fisherman in Japan have endurance and strength where an officer worker are skinny fat tired can’t lift 30kg. Thank this man for taking out the assassin

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Hmmm, with the title being how lack of security surprised many, that kind of indicates that, well, many were surprised. Any surface understanding of Japanese society makes it easy to see why.

Pretending that things will be fine without proper measures and being surprise when this is obviously not the case is part of the problem and yes, the well described glacial speed for changes to happen in Japanese society is what helps understand why this was not corrected. What is not surprising at all is that the problem is still there, unfortunately this is a very common occurrence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmmm, with the title being how lack of security surprised many, that kind of indicates that, well, many were surprised. Any surface understanding of Japanese society makes it easy to see why.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Masaki Nishide, a 55-year-old fisherman from Saikazaki, said most of the people at Saturday’s event were residents and supporters of the local candidate. He said the young man carrying the silver-gray backpack stood out.

“People here all dress like me, and nobody carries a backpack; it was only him,” Nishide said, wearing a sweatsuit and red rubber boots. “If I were in charge of security, I would have asked for a bag check.”

This one guy has more brains than the entire security team and Kishida combined.

> Only one person, a police official, was hurt, his arm cut by fragments of the device,

Hold on a second while I almost shed a tear.........

Isao Itabashi, a public safety expert, said on NHK TV that the attack raised questions about how election campaigns are be carried out. Guarding top politicians in campaigns is logistically hard, and balancing tight security with a free election is also difficult, he said.

I think he meant, FINDING competent security teams is very difficult.

> For Hamada and other fishermen, there's worry also about the expected loss of income from the days they cannot work while the port facilities are closed for the investigation.

Days? What are they going to do at the empty lot? Point, suck teeth and mull over what happened in the past? Have meetings about watching the very detailed videos on twitter? Wonder if they got the right suspect? (Who they would've never gotten without that fisherman by the way........)

The prime minister was unhurt but like many others in Japan Konishi was mulling Sunday what the country should do to better protect public figures.

“At a time when Japan’s serving prime minister was visiting, perhaps we may have needed a metal detector,” Konishi said.

Yes, that. Or security teams that actually knew how to plan strategically and NOT just stand behind the PM in a bunch and only watch his back.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Incredible Kishida's security team allowed him to make a speech later in the day after the incident.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan has high security measures in place when arresting alleged criminals so it is easy to understand how they increased security protection for politicians as mentioned innthe article. No red tape to overcome to put more poouce on a detail, and anyone who lives in Japan understands that. But of course, as was seen the other day when protesters rushed the stage where Ron Desantis was guving a speech in the US, not every event is preventable whether in a country known for its high security measures or not. Thankfully the increase in security prevented another pipe bomb from going off, so this is proof of the effectiveness of the increase in security.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

polititians are so in love with themselves that they think everyone else loves them too....Hence the lack of security !

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

So many cowardly attacks, shootings and stabbings in Japan recently. Now this explosive. I wonder what's happened over the past few years to see such an increase? It's like there is a mass of pent up rage in many people, who could snap at any moment. Scary times in Japan.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Excellent article by Mari Yamaguchi. Very informative. Thank goodness for the courage and vigilance shown by the brave fisherman. It's starting to look like the younger generation is clueless. Why attack with a futile bomb? Well, maybe he loaded it with black nails. Those would do some damage, but not just to the PM but innocent minions surrounding him, as well. Why did citizens have to protect the PM when he has a so-called security detail? Is the new generation too clueless to do their jobs? This is worrisome. Japan is becoming more and more like Canada everyday.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Heiwa boke! People have been lulled into the belief that Japanese dont commit crimes like this. The government and media are 100% at fault for this, as they do not publish anything about crime, unless it's a murder or something "spectacular". People have believed the fallacy.

Japan is safer than many places, but there are plenty of criminals and crimes committed daily.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Being surprised by a clear and serous problem not being corrected by the Japanese government (without endless red tape and at least a few years of lost time) is simply not paying attention to how things are done in the country.

Not in this case, because Japan has had almost a year to make improvements with security, especially because its security lapse was seen and criticized by the world.

And in fact, after Abe's assassination, security around Kishida was immediately increased, as people attending some rallies had to pass through metal detectors, so there was no endless red tape to encounter; that myth is busted.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

This kind of event is not unusual in Japan. In the last century Took Station seems to be a hotbed of assassination attempts.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Any lapse of security here was definitely not caused by inaction of the Japanese government. This event shows not every incident is preventable considering how Japan politicians campaign.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

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