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Japan’s police chief to quit over assassination of former PM Shinzo Abe

Japan’s police chief will resign over the fatal shooting of former prime minister Shinzo Abe at a campaign speech last month.

Mr Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead on 8 July in the western city of Nara.

He sustained two deep neck wounds that damaged an artery, and died hours later in hospital. He was 67.

National police chief Itaru Nakamura, who said he would quit to take responsibility, is the most senior official to step down in connection with Mr Abe’s assassination – the first of a sitting or former Japanese PM since the 1930s.

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“In order to fundamentally re-examine guarding and never to let this happen, we need to have a new system,” Mr Nakamura said as he announced his intention to quit.

The announcement came as his agency released a report on how it failed to save Mr Abe’s life.

The report found holes in Mr Abe’s police protection, including flaws that allowed the alleged attacker to shoot him from behind.

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The police chief in the city of Nara, Tomoaki Onizuka, also announced his resignation on Thursday.

Experts have said security at the event was seriously flawed, and Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, have blamed police.

The alleged gunman, Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested at the scene and is currently under mental evaluation until late November.

Mr Nakamura did not say when his resignation would take effect, but it is expected to be approved at a cabinet meeting on Friday.

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