Abe’s body returns to his Tokyo home

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A motorcade carrying the body of former prime minister Shinzo Abe arrived at his home in the Japanese capital on Saturday, as police in the western city of Nara where he was assassinated said there had been security flaws.

Mourners gathered at his residence and at the scene of Friday’s attack in Nara, where Japan’s longest-serving modern leader was gunned down in a rare act of political violence while making a campaign speech. The country’s political establishment called the killing an attack on democracy itself.

Police arrested a 41-year-old man immediately after Abe was shot at close range, and said the suspect had used a homemade gun. The local police force manning the campaign event said on Saturday that security arrangements had been flawed.

“We can’t deny that there were problems with the security plan given how things ended,” Nara prefectorial police chief Tomoaki Onizuka told a news conference.

“I feel a grave sense of responsibility,” he said, adding that police would analyse what exactly went wrong and implement any necessary changes.

Elections for seats in Japan’s upper house of parliament are going ahead as scheduled on Sunday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was back on the campaign trail visiting regional constituencies after making an emergency return to Tokyo on Friday after the shooting.

A metal detection scanner, not normally seen at election events in largely crime-free Japan, was installed at a site in the city of Fujiyoshida where Kishida was due to give a campaign speech.

 

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