Japan PM Kishida unhurt after explosives attack during campaigning

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TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was unhurt after a man threw a cylindrical object which exploded ahead of a stump speech he was due to make during his visit to western Japan on April 15, less than a year after a former premier was fatally shot during election campaigning.

Kishida immediately left by car after the incident, which took place as he was talking with a candidate of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party just before his scheduled speech at a fishing port in the city of Wakayama. According to investigative sources, Ryuji Kimura, a 24-year-old man from Hyogo Prefecture, was arrested at the scene.

In a stump speech elsewhere in the city, Kishida said the incident should not be allowed to disrupt the electoral process. “Together with you all, we have to carry on with the election.”

The object was thrown at around 11:25 a.m. from among a crowd of people. A loud explosion was heard shortly afterward, sending people fleeing in panic.

Footage by the public broadcaster NHK showed the suspect holding another silver cylinder as he was wrestled to the ground by two nearby civilians and police officers.

Investigative sources said the suspect brought with him two pieces of objects believed to be explosive devices, including the one used in the attack.

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