After attack, Japan PM Fumio Kishida vows to keep world leaders safe during G7 meeting

16 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Fumio National

The suspect has stated that he will only submit to questioning in the presence of his lawyers.

According to CNN, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed on Sunday to keep world leaders safe during Group of Seven (G7) meetings in Japan. Kishida’s remarks come a day after a man hurled a “smoke bomb” at him during a campaign speech in Wakayama.

“Japan as a whole must strive to provide maximum security during the dates of the summit (in Hiroshima next month) and other gatherings of dignitaries from around the world,” Kishida said on Sunday, reported CNN.

His remarks came as G7 Foreign Ministers, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, began three days of talks in Nagano prefecture’s Karuizawa region on Sunday. On Saturday, a small explosive device was thrown at the venue where Kishida was about to deliver a speech in support of the ruling party’s candidate in a Wakayama by-election. Kishida was unharmed when he was evacuated from the Wakayama venue.

According to the news report, the attack sent shockwaves throughout Japan and drew comparisons to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July of last year. He was shot during a campaign speech in Japan’s Nara region in July of last year. The campaign for Japan’s nationwide local elections has begun. Speaking to reporters from his official residence in Tokyo, Kishida vowed that the attack would have no impact on Japan’s democratic process.

“Violent acts during elections, which are the foundation of democracy, can never be tolerated,” he said.

“What is important is to carry through this election to the end. It is important for our country and for our democracy that the voice of the voters is clearly expressed through the election,” Kishida said, as per the CNN report.

A man was arrested after throwing “what appeared to be a smoke bomb,” according to CNN, citing Kyodo News. Meanwhile, police in Japan have been searching the home of a man who threw an apparent pipe bomb prior to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s speech, according to NHK World-Japan.

Police warned residents in the area to avoid the area because explosives were used in the Saturday incident. Kimura Ryuji was arrested on the spot on suspicion of forcible obstruction of business. According to the news, Kimura Ryuji is a 24-year-old man from Hyogo Prefecture. According to reports, the suspect has stated that he will only submit to questioning in the presence of his lawyers.

According to NHK World-Japan, an investigation source revealed that one cylindrical object was connected with what appears to be a wire. According to investigators, two such objects were discovered at the scene, one of which exploded and the other of which the suspect had when he was apprehended. According to the news report, investigators have been analysing the structure of the explosive devices, suspecting that they were iron pipe bombs.