Japan’s prime minister calls for ‘maximum efforts to ensure security’ after attack at election event

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The day after an explosive device was thrown at him during an electoral act in the western city of Wakayama, the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, who emerged unscathed from that attack, stressed that his country should strengthen security in the face to the visits of authorities of the Group of Seven (G7).

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“At times when high-ranking officials from around the world visit us (…) Japan as a whole must Maximize your efforts to ensure security”Kishida told reporters on Sunday. He added: “It’s unforgivable that such a violent action was committed during an election campaign”.

Kishida demanded, in parallel, that the police increase security measures following the incident, which occurred less than a year after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated by an armed assailant in the western city of Nara.

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Japanese Prime Minister he resumed his proselytizing activity after the incident and argued that the April 23 lower legislative house election will not be affected.

At the time of the attack, the G7 ministers responsible for climate and energy were meeting in the northern city of Sapporo, and those responsible for foreign affairs were in the city of Karuizawa, west of Tokyo.

Japan will be site of the G7 summit in Mayin Hiroshima.

The explosion occurred as Kishida was preparing to give an election speech in support of the election campaign of one of the candidates of his party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and was immediately removed from the area by the security services.

“I saw that something was thrown, but I managed to escape and at that moment I heard the explosion“, said the Prime Minister, who also indicated that despite the attack “he will continue with his electoral acts”, in statements to a senior official of his party, according to the state chain nhk.

They searched the home of the only detainee

Japanese authorities have searched the home of Ryuji Kimura, the 24-year-old arrested for throwing an explosive at the Japanese prime minister. The operation began in the early hours of this Sunday in the house located in the city of Kawanishi, in the Hyogo prefecture, in the west of the country.

Police have asked residents to evacuate the area due to the risk that explosives could be found, according to state channel NHK, and have installed a control seal in the area to prevent access by onlookers. Then they started the raid, dressed wearing protective clothing and equipped with equipment to defuse explosivesaccording to the same source.

Japanese authorities have searched the home of Ryuji Kimura, the person suspected of throwing an explosive at the Prime Minister of Japan.  Photo EFE/JIJI

Japanese authorities have searched the home of Ryuji Kimura, the person suspected of throwing an explosive at the Prime Minister of Japan. Photo EFE/JIJI

the only suspect did not disclose the reasons for the attack. The local media, in fact, have ensured that he refused to speak with the investigators of the case.

At the time of arrest, Kimura was carrying a backpack and another metal object, believed to be a second pipe bomb.

Counter-terrorism expert has called for procedures to be reviewed

The director of the Research Center of the Japan Public Policy Council, Isao Itabashi, invited him review security measures in election records after the assassination attempt on the prime minister.

The counter-terrorism expert described as “very serious” the fact that Kishida was the “target” of the alleged attack during a rally, and stressed the need to “discuss the security measures that need to be taken in the election campaign” after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a similar event last July.

In an interview with the state channel nhkItabashi highlighted the “quick reaction” of the security services which allowed Kishida to be taken to safety when he realized that an object had been thrown towards the prime minister and from the place where several hundred people were gathering waiting for an electoral speech from the president.

Itabashi noted that the device, which detonated less than a minute after Kishida was evacuated from the scene, could be a “pipe bomb” due to its cylindrical shape and metallic appearance, a type of home-made explosive which can be lethal and whose preparation involves a certain technical complexity.

With information from agencies.


Source: Clarin

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