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Explosive thrown at Japanese PM at campaign event

Posted April. 17, 2023 07:59,   

Updated April. 17, 2023 07:59


A man hurled a homemade explosive at Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an election campaign. This event occurred just nine months after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot with a homemade gun during another campaign in July of the previous year. Although Prime Minister Kishida escaped unhurt, the Japanese archipelago was stunned by this attack, especially given the recent series of terrorist attacks aimed at former and current prime ministers. The upcoming G7 summit scheduled to take place in Hiroshima next month has added to the sense of concern.

According to Japanese media on Sunday, it was revealed that around 11:26 a.m. on Saturday, a man from the crowd launched a silver pipe-like object toward Prime Minister Kishida, who was about to commence an election campaign at the Saikazaki fishing port in Wakayama City, situated in the southern part of Osaka, Japan.

When the object was thrown at Kishida, he turned around, and the bodyguard swiftly wrapped a bulletproof cover around him. The suspect, a man in his 20s who hurled the object, was promptly overpowered by the nearby audience and subsequently arrested by the police. The explosive device struck the ground, and 52 seconds later, a “pop” sound was heard, but Prime Minister Kishida had already left the area by then. The police and several audience members suffered injuries due to shrapnel from it.

The Japanese police have identified the suspect responsible for the attack as Ryuji Kimura, a 24-year-old resident of Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. Despite the suspect's decision to exercise his right to remain silent, the police have initiated a search of his residence and are actively investigating the motives behind the incident.

Prime Minister Kishida was on a campaign trail to garner support ahead of the upcoming unification local elections scheduled for the latter half of the year on the 23rd and the House of Councilors elections in the five constituencies. His campaign schedule was announced on Friday on the website of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and various social media platforms. The campaign schedule of former Prime Minister Abe, who was attacked last year, was also released in advance. It's worth noting that in Korea, the schedules of public figures, except for president, are usually kept under strict embargo due to security reasons.

After recent terrorist attacks targeting prominent politicians, the Japanese people are increasingly anxious. Prime Minister Kishida has ordered heightened security for the upcoming G7 Summit, saying, “The violence that occurred during the election, which is the foundation of democracy, is unforgivable.”