Posted originally on the CTH on April 15, 2023
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida escaped harm earlier today after a man holding what appeared to be two pipe bombs threw one near Kishida. Remarkable video from the event showed citizens and police apprehending the suspect after one of the devices was thrown. [Japan TV Story Here]
(Via Politico) – WAKAYAMA, Japan — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated unharmed Saturday after someone threw an explosive device in his direction while he was campaigning at a fishing port in western Japan, officials said. Police wrestled a suspect to the ground as screaming bystanders scrambled to get away and smoke filled the air.
Although no one was hurt, and Kishida continued campaigning Saturday, the chaotic scene was reminiscent of the assassination nine months ago of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which also came on a campaign tour and continues to reverberate in Japanese politics. Kishida was visiting Saikazaki port in Wakayama prefecture to support his ruling party’s candidate in a local election, and the explosion occurred just before he was to begin his speech.
A young man believed to be a suspect was arrested Saturday at the scene after he allegedly threw “the suspicious object,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters. Matsuno refused to comment on the suspect’s motive and background, saying police are still investigating.
TV footage shows Kishida standing with his back to the crowd. His security detail suddenly points to the ground near him, and the prime minister whips around, looking alarmed. The camera quickly turns to the crowd just as several people, including uniformed and plainclothes police officers, converge on a young man wearing a white surgical mask and holding what appears to be another device, a long silver tube.
As they collapse on top of the man, working to remove the tube from his hands, a large explosion is heard near where Kishida had been standing. The crowd scatters in panic as police roughly drag the man away. (read more)