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NEWSBREAK: Japanese PM escape assasination after blast during campaign event

By MARI YAMAGUCHI and FOSTER KLUG

A man believed to be a suspect, center on the ground, is caught by police after he allegedly threw “the suspicious object,” as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Saikazaki port for an election campaign event in Wakayama, western Japan Saturday, April 15, 2023. Kishida was evacuated unharmed Saturday after someone threw an explosive device in his direction while he was campaigning at the fishing port in western Japan, officials said.

WAKAYAMA, Japan (AP) — 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.

(Kyodo News via AP)

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