It was a very poor accident.
The trouble occurred at around 8:45 in the morning of July 25. At the Miyakezaka Junction merge point on the Metropolitan Expressway Loop Line in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, a police car driven by a male sergeant of the Metropolitan Police Department’s police protection division rear-ended another police car running ahead of it. The passenger in the car in front was Akie, 60, the wife of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (aged 67), who was shot and killed during a speech on July 8.
The accident occurred when the car in which Mrs. Akie was riding slowed down. The cause was carelessness on the part of the police sergeant. Fortunately, no one was injured, including Akie.
Former Prime Minister Abe was shot and Mrs. Akie is under special police protection. Security is on a 24-hour standby. Several SPs are on the move, and a top-of-the-line Lexus car, which is highly safe even in the event of a collision, is being used as the escort vehicle.
A verification team has just been set up. ……
In the case of former Prime Minister Abe, lax security has been pointed out. The assailant, Tetsuya Yamagami, approached Mr. Abe from behind an empty building at a distance of about 8 meters and fired the first shot. He then took five steps forward due to the lack of security, and fired a second shot three seconds later from about five meters away.
On July 12, the Metropolitan Police Department set up a team to verify whether there were any problems with the security arrangements. The rear-end collision occurred in the midst of the commotion. At a press conference held on July 26, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara complained, “The security authorities are tense and on a mission. I hope that the security authorities will carry out their duties with a sense of urgency and take all possible measures so as not to cause anxiety among the public.
A string of scandals has occurred in the security of VIPs. Former Kanagawa Prefectural Police detective and crime journalist Taihei Ogawa sounds the alarm.
Security vehicles are traveling at low speeds, so they are occasionally rear-ended by ordinary vehicles,” he said. However, I have never heard of a police escort vehicle causing an accident like this one. Police officers must protect the subject of their protection by risking their lives as a shield. But to do the opposite and inflict harm is unprecedented. It is a blunder that cannot be solved by saying, ‘I was careless.
The responsibility does not lie with the sergeant who caused the accident. It is also possible that he was exhausted and distracted. As an organization, the police will need to establish new rules for security arrangements, including the number of personnel and working hours. If this is not done, countries around the world may begin to question Japan’s security capabilities.”
On September 27, a state funeral is scheduled to be held for former Prime Minister Abe. To prevent another unforeseen incident, the police are under pressure to fundamentally review their security posture.
Photo by： Shinji Hasuo Hiroyuki Komatsu Kei Kato Takeshi Kinugawa Kyodo News