According to the Japanese "Kyodo" news agency, a smoke bomb was apparently thrown at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida today, Saturday, during his visit to a port in the west of the country to deliver an election speech.
Kishida left the scene unharmed after the incident, which occurred while he was speaking with a candidate of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to the agency.
Several media outlets reported that an object resembling a "smoke bomb" was thrown, but it appears that there were no injuries or damages at the scene.
A person was arrested at the scene of the incident in the fishing port of Saikazaki in Wakayama Prefecture, where Kishida was scheduled to give a speech, according to public broadcaster NHK. The authorities have not issued confirmation of the arrest, and the police declined to comment.
Footage showed what appeared to be officers subduing and removing a man while other people cleared the area. Police arrested a 24-year-old suspect from Kawanishi.
🇯🇵JAPAN PM KISHIDA EVACUATED FROM THE STUMP SPEECH UNHURT. pic.twitter.com/kiVK1BHqdP
— CN Wire (@Sino_Market) April 15, 2023
Perdana Menteri Jepang Kishida yang hendak memberikan pidato diserang kembang api oleh seseorang di pelabuhan perikanan in Kota Wakayama. pic.twitter.com/e0dNRseABB
— Z Operation (@yo2thok) April 15, 2023
And Japanese media reported that Kishida's speech, which was intended to support his ruling party's candidate in the local elections, was canceled, but he resumed his campaign activities shortly after his evacuation.
NHK broadcaster quoted Kishida as saying in Wakayama, western Japan, "A loud explosion was heard (..), the police are investigating the details. I would like to apologize for the concern caused to the people," adding, "We are in the midst of an important election campaign for the country, and we must work together to make it a success.”
Kishida will take part in another rally this afternoon, Saturday, in the Chiba district near Tokyo.
This incident comes 9 months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an election rally last July, which left a shock inside and outside Japan, and prompted the authorities to review security measures.