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An attack last Sunday morning on a 26-year-old officer at a police box in Suita, Osaka Prefecture — allegedly by a man who stabbed him multiple times before stealing his gun — comes on the heels of a recent series of fatal assaults on police officers, including a June 2018 case in the city of Toyama, in which the assailant used the gun he took from the officer he killed to fatally shoot another victim.

Measures taken by the police in response to the attacks, such as introducing a new type of holster that makes it more difficult to remove an officer’s gun, getting officers on duty to always wear their bulletproof vests and reviewing personnel deployments at police boxes to make sure they are manned by more than one officer, did not prevent the latest assault. While the runaway suspect in the Suita case was arrested the following day without apparently using the gun he stole to harm anybody else, the police need to examine why their system once again allowed such a horrific assault to take place and fix any shortcomings that are found.

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