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The national police chief of Japan announced on Thursday that he will step down in order to take responsibility over the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
National Police Agency Chief Itaru Nakamura’s announcement comes as his agency released a report on how it failed to save Abe’s life July 8 when he was assassinated at a campaign speech in Nara in western Japan.
Nakamura did not say when his resignation would be official.
The police report found holes in Abe’s police protection that allowed the alleged attacker to shoot him from behind.
The alleged gunman, Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested at the scene and is currently under mental evaluation until late November. Yamagami told police that he targeted Abe because of the former leader’s link to the Unification Church, which he hated.
It is suspected that the weapon used to shoot Abe was a homemade firearm as it gave off a large amount of smoke after it was fired.
The news of the former prime minister’s death sent global shock waves in part because of Japan’s ranking as one of the world’s safest countries to live in along with its well-known strict gun laws.
Gun violence in Japan has been extremely rare for several decades following a 1958 law that barred guns and swords.
Japanese civilians can obtain firearms if they complete a 13-step program that requires them to join a hunting or shooting club and includes an in-depth background and evaluation process.
Abe was the longest-serving prime minister for Japan and held the post for eight consecutive years beginning in 2012.
His tenure was remarkable not only because Japan’s election scene has historically seen relatively high turnover, but because Abe abruptly ended his first term after serving only one year from 2006 to 2007 due to complications relating to his ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition.
Abe’s family paid tribute to him in a private ritual Buddhist ritual Thursday marking the 49th day of his assassination.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.