The murder of Japan’s best-known politician and longest-serving premier rattled the country and sent shockwaves around the world, particularly given the nation’s low levels of violent crime and strict gun laws.
Abe, 67, died at a hospital in Kashihara city, Nara, where he was receiving medical treatment after being shot twice by the attacker who used a handmade weapon.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is reportedly still using a bulletproof Benz S600 Guard sedan worth B19.5 million as his vehicle, was “very shocked” at Abe’s death.
According to a source at a Thai security agency, agents are beefing up safety measures for the country’s leaders, such as Gen Prayut and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, to prevent such an incident from happening.
National security is also expected to be intensified to anticipate incidents aimed at disrupting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November.
Security protocols were beefed up to ensure safety during yesterday’s meeting between visiting United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Gen Prayut.
The premier’s plans to survey the provinces next month will be halted as agents review safety measures, the security agency source said.
Meanwhile, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, deputy chief of the national police, said safety protocols will be tightened to ensure the safety of the country’s leaders.
The move can boost the confidence of VIP guests from foreign countries, he said, adding it will be put into action following an announcement.
“We must learn from previous lessons to ensure preparedness in handling uncertainty,” he said.
Asked if the police have detected suspicious movements among foreign visitors, Pol Gen Damrongsak said they haven’t.
For now, the priority is ensuring that this year’s Apec summit is held smoothly, with tight security placed around invitees, he said.