1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Japan PM Kishida safe after object thrown during speech

April 15, 2023

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was safely evacuated from an event in the city of Wakayama after what was reported to be a "smoke bomb" was thrown at him. A suspect has been apprehended.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends his outdoor speech at Saikazaki fishing port in Wakayama
Kishida said police were investigating and that he would resume campaign events on SaturdayImage: Kyodo/REUTERS

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was rushed from a speech after a smoke bomb was thrown near him in the city of Wakayama on Saturday, public broadcaster NHK said.

The prime minister was safely evacuated from the scene, the broadcaster added.

"Police are investigating the details of the loud explosive sound at the previous speech venue," Kishida said when he resumed his campaign speeches, in video broadcast by Japan's national broadcaster NHK. "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."

His Liberal Democratic party said on Twitter that scheduled campaigning events on Saturday and Sunday would be held as planned. 

"We are very sorry for your concern," the party said.

What do we know so far?

Japanese media reported a blast followed by smoke filling the area as Kishida began his speech.

The Jiji news service said a pipe-like object was thrown at him. NHK reported the prime minister was taken to the Wakayama prefectural police headquarters and was safe. 

News footage appeared to show officers subduing and detaining a suspect at the scene. NHK said he was held on suspicion of obstruction of business.

There were no immediate signs of injuries or damage.

When the incident occurred, Kishida was touring a fishing harbor in Wakayama to support his ruling party's candidate in a local election.

Security officials detain a man who is believed to have thrown a pipe-like object near Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida  in Wakayama.
A man believed to be a suspect was apprehended at the sceneImage: Kyodo/REUTERS

Politicians receive extra protection after Abe assassination

Japan has bolstered security for its politicians after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on the campaign trail in July 2022. The incident shocked a country that witnesses little violent crime.

Japan will host the G-7 summit for world leaders in Hiroshima next month. A series of G7 meetings were underway in Japan ahead of next month's summit.

lo/wd (Reuters, AFP)