Sunday, 19 May 2024

‘Explosion heard’ during Japan PM speech as instant evacuation carried out

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    Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, 65, has been evacuated after an “explosion” went off during a speech he was attending.

    During his outdoor speech in the city of Wakayama, a “pipe-like object” was thrown near the prime minister, reported a local media outlet.

    NHK said the prime minister instantly took cover following the incident and remained safe as they cited that no other injuries were reported.

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    Following the incident, an “evacuation was carried out” as footage showed officers subduing and removing a man as people cleared the area.

    Footage from the public broadcaster showed crowds of people running away as several police officers appeared to pin an individual to the ground before removing him from the scene.

    Fumio had just started to deliver a speech after touring the fishing harbour in Wakayama when the incident occurred, NHK said.

    The prime minister is due to host a Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ summit in Hiroshima next month.

    Japan has strengthened its security after the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot and killed while speaking at a campaign event in July 2022.

    Medics tried to resuscitate Mr Abe, who bled “profusely” for hours before confirming his death in the hospital he was airlifted to soon after the shooting at around 11:30 am local time.

    Tetsuya Yamagami was arrested immediately after the shooting as he confessed to shooting the former prime minister with a handmade gun.

    Witnesses claimed Tetsuya crept up to just a few metres behind Mr Abe before firing at his neck and back, causing him to collapse to the ground.

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    As the former navy veteran made a run for it, Mr Abe’s security squad chased him down and were pictured launching into a heroic partnered tackle, pulling at his ankle and grappling hold of his torso.

    Investigators have said he targeted Abe due to the belief that his former prime minister’s grandfather expanded that group, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

    “I thought that former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi contributed to the expansion of the group, and I thought about killing his grandson, former Prime Minister Abe,” Tetsuya told investigators.


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