Japanese PM Kishida targeted with apparent smoke bomb in attack, reminiscent of Shinzo Abe’s assassination within a year.
(Image source – AP)
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida narrowly avoided harm when he was targeted with what appeared to be a smoke bomb during a campaign speech in Wakayama. The attack occurred as he was supporting his ruling party’s local election candidate.
This incident is reminiscent of the assassination attempt on former PM Shinzo Abe, who was shot during a campaign speech in July of the previous year by Tetsuya Yamagami using a handmade gun.
Kishida Attacked: Details of the Incident Revealed
1. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was attacked while at Saikazaki port in Wakayama prefecture, where he was showing support for his ruling party’s candidate in a lower house by-election. During the event, an unknown assailant threw a pipe-like object at the PM, followed by an explosion that engulfed the area in smoke.
Fortunately, Kishida took cover and emerged unharmed, as reported by local public broadcaster NHK.
2. As per local media reports, Kishida was enjoying local seafood delicacies when the explosion occurred. A video captured by NHK showed Kishida’s surprised reaction as a pipe-like object was thrown at him from behind.
A man, believed to be a staffer of the fishery cooperative and identified by Asahi newspaper, quickly apprehended the suspect, grabbing him in a headlock as police moved in and brought the suspect to the ground. Soon after, an explosion and cloud of smoke could be seen near the spot where Kishida had been standing.
3. The suspect who was apprehended following the attack on Kishida has been identified as a 24-year-old man from Kawanishi city, according to Kyodo news. Visuals from the scene of the incident depicted the man on the ground, subdued by police forces and locals who had helped in restraining him.
(Image source – AP)
4. Less than a year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was targeted in an attack. The investigation into Abe’s assassination revealed security loopholes, leading to the reinforcement of Japan’s police security measures.
The suspect in Abe’s assassination, Tetsuya Yamagami, was charged with murder and other crimes related to violating gun control laws. Yamagami stated that he killed Abe due to the leader’s perceived links to a religious group he despised.
Interestingly, the attack on Kishida occurred in Wakayama prefecture, which is located less than 100 kilometers away from Nara where Abe was shot, adding a concerning proximity to the two incidents.
5. In the aftermath of the attack, Kishida expressed his apologies for causing concern to many people, stating, “We are in the middle of an important election for our country. We must carry this on together,” in a video broadcast by NHK.
The incident occurred ahead of the upcoming by-elections in various regions for the lower house of Japan’s parliament, scheduled for April 23. Additionally, the attack on Kishida took place just before the Group of Seven (G7) summit, which is set to be held in Hiroshima next month.