Abe’s Murder Raises Issues About Handmade Guns in Japan

From 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2020, Shinzo Abe was Japan’s Prime Minister and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

He served as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. As Chief Cabinet Secretary under Junichiro Koizumi from 2005 to 2006, Abe served as an opposition leader in 2012.

He was re-elected as LDP president on September 26 after Sadakazu Tanigaki resigned, coming in second out of five candidates but defeating former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba by 108 votes to 89 in the runoff ballot.

On December 26, 2012, Japan’s House of Representatives elected Abe as Prime Minister, with 328 of its 480 members voting in favor. Later that day, he swore in his second government, called the “crisis-busting cabinet.”

Former Prime Minister Taro Aso served as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the new administration, Yoshihide Suga was Chief Cabinet Secretary, and Akira Amari was Economy Minister.

Abe’s murder raises issues about handmade guns in Japan.

Tokyo, July 11: The killing rocked Japan’s orderly, low-crime society: A respected lawmaker was killed by a man emerging from the crowd with a shoddily constructed, homemade pistol wrapped in tape.

When used to murder former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday when he was campaigning in western Japan for his governing party, the 40-centimeter (16-inch) weapon used to do so looked crude and more resembled a fuel made of pipes taped together and loaded with explosives.

Shinzo Abe killing

According to authorities, numerous such guns were discovered during a search of the suspect’s house, a one-room apartment in Nara. Homemade firearms are virtually impossible to track, which makes an inquiry challenge.

In Japan, where stabbings, dousing a location in gasoline and lighting it ablaze, or driving erratically down the street are the most common forms of attack, firearms are rarely employed.

It’s possible that the attacker had to construct his weapon due to strict gun control legislation. Tetsuya Yamagami, who was detained immediately, had previously served in the Japanese navy and was skilled in handling and putting together weaponry.

Criminal experts claim online tutorials for making guns and those 3D printers can be used to create weapons. The assault on Abe was labeled “lone-wolf terrorism” by some observers. In these situations, the criminal plans and does the crime alone, making it challenging to catch them in the act.

The reason for Abe’s murder is still a mystery. Yamagami allegedly admitted to police that he did it because of Abe’s alleged affiliation with a group he loathed but had no issue with the former leader’s political stances. According to news sources, it was a religious organization.

Attacks on politicians have occurred in Japan in the past. Abe’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, was stabbed but survived in 1960. When then-Prime Minister Takeo Miki was assaulted at the funeral of Abe’s great-uncle, former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, in 1975, Japan established a security squad modeled after the American Secret Service.

According to Hideto Ted Osanai, CEO of the International Bodyguard Association in Japan, and other experts, the Japanese may have just learned surface elements like escort formation rather than the preventative mindset vital to security.

“Japanese are so used to living quiet lives that the security guards fell asleep,” says Yasuhiro Sasaki, head of Tokyo-based Safety-Pro. Sasaki claimed he couldn’t believe no one moved to protect Abe in the seconds between the first and second shots, a scene shown on national television.

According to Sasaki, guards should have forcibly dragged Abe away from the danger. More importantly, he questioned why they hadn’t noticed a strange individual approaching and extracting what appeared to be a weapon from a bag.

According to Isao Itabashi, chief of the research section of the Council for Public Policy, which oversees such risks, maintaining security during an election campaign is difficult because the whole idea is for politicians to get near to people.

Shinzo Abe killing

Unlike in the United States, bulletproof glass is rarely used in Japan, and security personnel rarely resort to shooting potential attackers. “The assumption is that individuals are not armed,” Itabashi explained.

In “copycat crimes,” Osanai is concerned that more people would create weapons like the one used in Abe’s killing. He noticed a trend of unhappy persons committing random crimes and targeting victims indiscriminately.

“The conformist culture of Japan makes it impossible for some people to live freely, and they place a lot of strain on themselves. They commit suicide when they blame themselves. They commit indiscriminate atrocities when they blame others, “He stated.

Last year, a guy dressed as the Joker brandished a knife and set fire to a Tokyo train, injuring 17 people. Arson at an Osaka clinic killed 25 people in December 2021. Another arson in a Kyoto animation studio killed 36 people in 2019.

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