Japan police say flaws in basic security allowed attacker to throw pipe bomb at prime minister

by Sophia Chen
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security measures

Flaws in Basic Security Exposed

Attacker Targets Prime Minister with Pipe Bomb

In a recent incident in Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida narrowly escaped harm when an attacker threw a pipe bomb at him during a campaign event. The National Police Agency’s report highlights significant flaws in basic security measures, including the absence of metal detectors and bag checks.

Arrest and Investigation

The attack took place on April 15 in the fishing port of Saikazaki, Wakayama, where Kishida was scheduled to deliver a campaign speech. Ryuji Kimura, a 24-year-old suspect, was apprehended at the scene and remains in police custody. Currently, Kimura is undergoing a court-approved mental evaluation until September 1.

Surprising Security Lapses

Loose Security Arrangements Raise Concerns

Attendees of the campaign rally, mostly from the fishing community, expressed surprise at the lack of thorough security measures. The absence of bag checks and the close proximity between the audience and the prime minister were among the concerning lapses.

Lessons from the Past

Similar Incident Sparks Action

This attack occurred less than a year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July 2022 during a campaign speech. The incident led to the dismissal of top national and local police officials due to inadequate security measures. Reflecting on the previous incident, the National Police Agency compiled plans to enhance the protection of dignitaries.

Recommendations for Enhanced Security

Detecting and Preventing Threats

The report emphasizes the need for effective measures to identify and prevent individuals carrying weapons from approaching dignitaries. It recommends the use of metal detectors and baggage checks at campaign rallies. Additionally, it suggests holding speeches by political leaders and other dignitaries indoors to enhance security.

Deploying Experienced Officers

To improve the detection of suspicious activities, the report proposes the deployment of experienced police officers at such events. Their expertise would enable them to more effectively identify potential threats.

Vigilance and Timely Response

While attendees were engrossed in taking photos with their smartphones, the security staff failed to notice the attacker igniting and throwing the first pipe bomb. The report highlights the importance of maintaining vigilance and promptly responding to any suspicious actions. It notes that the attack was only noticed when a vigilant fisherman intervened as the attacker attempted to throw a second bomb.

By implementing these recommendations and learning from past incidents, Japan aims to bolster the security of its political leaders and safeguard public events from potential threats.

Q: What were the flaws in basic security that allowed the attacker to target the Japanese Prime Minister?

A: The flaws in basic security included the absence of metal detectors and bag checks at the campaign rally. This allowed the attacker to enter the crowd unnoticed and throw a pipe bomb at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Q: Was the Prime Minister harmed in the attack?

A: Fortunately, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was not harmed in the attack. Special police officers were able to push him away before the bomb exploded.

Q: Who was the suspect responsible for the attack?

A: The suspect responsible for the attack is Ryuji Kimura, a 24-year-old individual who was arrested at the scene of the attack. Kimura is currently in police custody and undergoing a court-approved mental evaluation.

Q: Were there any previous incidents that prompted action regarding security measures?

A: Yes, less than a year before this attack, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign speech. This previous incident led to the dismissal of top national and local police officials over lax security and prompted the National Police Agency to compile plans to improve the protection of dignitaries.

Q: What recommendations were made to enhance security measures?

A: The report suggests implementing metal detectors and baggage checks at campaign rallies, holding speeches by political leaders and dignitaries indoors, and deploying experienced police officers to more effectively detect suspicious actions. These recommendations aim to bolster security and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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