April 15, 2023 -TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated unharmed after an explosion at a western port on Saturday, NHK television reported, and a suspect was apprehended for allegedly throwing the explosive.
Kishida was visiting the Saikazaki port in Wakayama prefecture to cheer his ruling party’s candidate in a local election. The explosion occurred just before he was to begin his speech, NHK said. No injuries were reported in the incident and Kishida was taken to Wakayama prefectural police headquarters, it added.
The incident comes only nine months after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while delivering a campaign speech in the western city of Nara. The assassination shocked the nation and a subsequent investigation found holes in Abe’s security and led to reinforcement of Japan’s police security measures.
The latest attack also comes as a series of Group of Seven ministerial meetings begins this weekend ahead of the May 19-21 summit that Kishida will host in Hiroshima.