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Japan: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Safely Escapes After Explosion During Public Speech

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A suspect reportedly threw what seemed to be a smoke bomb at a public speech in western Japan on Saturday, but Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was unharmed and was taken to an evacuation centre.

The premier took cover and was unharmed as a loud explosion was heard, national network NHK said, while police arrested a guy nearby.

The incident took place, About 65 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Osaka City, in the Wakayama Prefecture, in the Saikazaki Fishing Harbour.

The nation was shocked by the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving leader of modern Japan, with a handmade gun last July when he was running for a legislative election. This event prompted a review of security for politicians who frequently interact with the public.

After exploring the harbour on Saturday, Kishida had barely begun to deliver the address when the event took place, according to NHK. According to Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the speech was slated for 11:40 AM (06:40 MUT). Following the incident, Kishida intended to carry on with his Saturday afternoon campaign agenda, the LDP said via its Twitter account.

Many police officers seemed to clench a man to the floor before taking him from the scene, as seen on NHK camera as people fled the area.

According to a witness who spoke with NHK, “it gave me a bad feeling so we ran away unbelievably fast.” The woman spotted an object flying overhead. “Then we heard a really loud noise. It made my daughter cry.”

Next month, Kishida will host a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima. On Sunday in the resort town of Karuizawa, the G7 foreign ministers will gather.

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