A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in Korean-language social media posts that claim it shows Japanese bodyguards conducting a drill following the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in July 2022. The claim, however, is false. The video has circulated online since May 2022, and actually shows a police training exercise held in Tokyo prior to a Quad summit hosted by Japan.
"The latest state of bodyguards in Japan after Abe shooting," reads the Korean-language claim shared here on Instiz, a popular social media platform in South Korea, on July 15.
The claim was shared alongside a video that appears to show multiple bodyguards shielding a VIP walking on a red carpet. It has been viewed more than 28,000 times.
The Korean-language text above the video translates to English as: "Japanese bodyguards nowadays".
Screenshot of the misleading claim shared on Instiz. Captured July 19, 2022.
The claim began to circulate after Abe was shot while delivering a stump speech at a campaign rally in Japan's western Nara region on July 8. He was pronounced dead hours after the shooting.
Tomoaki Onizuka, the head of the Nara prefectural police, admitted there were "undeniable" flaws in security for Abe, pledging an investigation.
The drill footage subsequently went viral on Japanese social media following the assassination, with several users commenting that Abe's death proved the exercise was futile, South Korean media outlets reported here and here.
Comments from some social media users indicated they were misled by the posts.
One person wrote: "Talk about fixing the stable door after the horse has bolted."
Another said: "What's the point of doing this after the fact?"
However, the claim is false. The video predates Abe's death.
The clip bears Japanese-language text that translates to English as: "Security training at the State Guesthouse before Quad".
The Quad, or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan, and the US that is maintained by talks between member countries.
A keyword search on Google found this video published on YouTube by Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo on May 18, 2022.
It is titled: "Security training at the State Guesthouse before Quad (May 18, 2022)".
The corresponding scene can be seen at the 17-minute and six-second mark of the YouTube video.
"The Metropolitan Police Department staged a training exercise at the State Guesthouse in Tokyo on the 18th, prior to the Quad event on the 24th. Approximately 160 participants, including riot police, took part in the practice," reads the video's Japanese-language caption in part.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video shared in the misleading posts (left) and the video published by TV Tokyo (right):
Screenshot comparison of the footage shared alongside the misleading claim in the social media posts (left) and the original news clip published by TV Tokyo (right)
The leaders of Japan, India, Australia, and the US convened in Tokyo on May 24, 2022, for the Quad to discuss regional issues with China.