Ensuring government officials’ safety and security is paramount for any country. In recent years, Japan has faced significant challenges in protecting its high-ranking officials from targeted attacks. Notably, the tragic assassinations of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the recent attack on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida highlight the pressing need for comprehensive training in dignitary protection within the Japanese police force. 

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Introduction to Dignitary Protection Training

This blog aims to delve into the importance of such training and explore potential strategies to enhance security measures.

I. The Attack on Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe:

Attack 1: In July 2022, the former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated while giving a speech in the middle of a city street in Nara, Japan. He was shot twice with a handmade gun before the assailant was stopped. It was reported that Shinzo Abe had his security detail with him, yet the shooter, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, was able to get incredibly close to the former Prime Minister to launch the attack.

II. The Recent Attack on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida:

Attack 2: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated unhurt after a suspect threw what appeared to be a smoke bomb at an outdoor speech in western Japan in early April 2023.

Kishida took cover after a loud explosion was heard while Police subdued a man at the scene, Japanese media footage showed. A police officer suffered minor injuries in the incident, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing Wakayama prefectural police.

III. The Significance of Dignitary Protection Training:

  1. Recognizing the vulnerabilities: Dignitary Protection teams must proactively assess and manage threats daily. Law Enforcement is reactive in their training, so Police must have, train, and develop proactive & preventive planning to protect the government leader.
  2. Enhanced public perception: Creating a Dignitary Protection Unit will improve the public’s confidence that the government officials assigned a protection detail have received the proper training to enhance their Police academy training and keep everyone safe.
  3. Deterrence and prevention: Well-trained police personnel specializing in dignitary protection can act as a deterrent against potential attacks and minimize the risks of incidents. They must be trained to stop an attack before it happens, know how to manage threats, investigate threats, and change their entire training focus from reactive to preventive.  

IV. Strategies for Training the Japanese Police in Dignitary Protection:

  1. Expert collaboration: The Japanese police force and international counterparts with extensive experience in dignitary protection, allowing for the exchange of knowledge, techniques, and best practices.
  2. Scenario-based training: It is essential to have realistic scenario-based training and attack on the principle exercises that replicate potential threats, ensuring that officers are prepared to respond effectively and swiftly.
  3. Advanced intelligence and risk assessment: Proactive intelligence gathering and risk assessment to identify potential threats in advance and formulate appropriate security measures. They are significant and are tools to be used on every protection detail.
  4. Technology integration: Explore and integrate all of the advanced technologies, such as facial recognition systems, drone operations on every protection detail, and surveillance equipment, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of dignitary protection.
  5. Psychological support and stress management: It is essential to provide psychological support and stress management programs for officers engaged in dignitary protection duties, considering the high-pressure nature of their responsibilities. One of the problems is long hours, and every protection agent must have the proper rest and be able to manage the stress of the job. 


The safety of government officials is paramount, and recent attacks on high-profile Japanese politicians underscore the need for enhanced training in dignitary protection within the Japanese police force. By recognizing vulnerabilities, fostering public trust, and implementing effective strategies, Japan can strengthen its security apparatus and better safeguard its government officials. 

Through collaboration, realistic training, advanced intelligence, technology integration, and psychological support, the Japanese Police can adapt to emerging threats, ensuring the safety and well-being of their dignitaries. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach to dignitary protection training will contribute to a safer and more secure Japan.

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