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A suspect being arrested after the incident. PA

Japanese Prime Minister unhurt after explosive device thrown during campaign event

No one was injured in the blast.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Apr 2023

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER Fumio Kishida was evacuated unhurt 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 smoke filled the air and screaming bystanders scrambled to get away.

Although no one was hurt and Kishida continued campaigning, 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.

A young man believed to be a suspect was arrested at the scene allegedly throwing “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.

embedded2bd422815de14518a4484454f5ab61f4 A suspicious object is seen on the ground where a suspect was arrested

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 in a long silver tube. 

embeddeda5463d1b71724ba69b64072226af6df9 The suspect, centre, is detained

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.

It was not immediately clear what the explosive device was or how many the suspect had, but some reports said it was a smoke or pipe bomb, possibly with a delayed fuse.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which came on the eve of a major international forum in Japan.

Kishida continued his campaign speeches, Matsuno said.

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