A police officer dropped a loaded pistol while guarding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s motorcade in Wakayama, western Japan on Friday night, police said, adding the gun was returned about an hour after it was mislaid.
The officer’s automatic weapon slipped out of its holster and dropped onto the road when he was leaning out of a police car window to control traffic at around 7:50 p.m. Friday, the police said Saturday.
A local resident taking a walk found the gun and handed it at around 9:10 p.m. to one of around 50 officers who were searching the area for the lost weapon.
Abe was on his way to Kyoto after attending a meeting for the upcoming Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election.
The officer in his 20s was not using a strap designed to prevent a gun from falling at the time.
It was not against gun-carrying protocol because he was working in plain clothes rather wearing a uniform, according to the police.
The police announced the incident around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
«It is very regrettable that such an incident occurred. We will make every effort to prevent a recurrence,» Katsuro Matoba, security division chief at the prefectural police, said in a statement.
All — Kyodo News+