Japanese PM Fumio Kishida unharmed after apparent smoke bomb attack

By 
 April 16, 2023

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made it out unharmed after a suspect in the crowd of a recent campaign event tossed at him what authorities believe to be a smoke bomb. 

Reuters reported that the prime minister was raced to cover after a man in the crowd hurled the bomb at him. A small explosion can be heard in the many videos of the incident that were uploaded to social media.

One police officer was reportedly treated for injuries sustained during the chaotic scene, but fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.

The incident sent a scare through the prime minister's security team, given that it was eerily similar to what happened to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated at a campaign event last year by a suspect using a homemade pistol.

The incident

Multiple videos of the smoke bomb attack emerged across social media over the weekend.

"On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was unhurt after an apparent assassination attempt after a suspect threw a smoke bomb at a campaign event. In the video below you can see the Prime Minister’s bodyguard block the object with his brief case, kick it away with his foot and then push the PM out of the way. The incident comes just 9 months after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated," Collin Rugg tweeted.

Had it not been for the bodyguard's quick thinking, the outcome could have been much worse.

Kishida commented on the attack at a later campaign event.

"Police are investigating the details of the loud explosive sound at the previous speech venue," Kishida said when he resumed his campaign speeches. "I am sorry for causing many people to be concerned. We are in the middle of an important election for our country. We must carry this on together."

Witnesses speak

Several witnesses at the scene reported that the crowd, and police subdued the suspected young male bomb thrower. Still, many were shaken by the attempt, reminding them of what happened recently to PM Abe.

"I never thought something like this would happen so soon after what happened to Abe," said Kaburagi, who attended the rally with family.

"I don't think I want to go to these political-related events anymore," he added.

Japan's elections are set to take place on April 23.

 

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