According to local reports, during a political visit to the Saikazaki Fishing Port in Wakayama, a man threw what is now suspected to be a smoke bomb at the feet of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
His guards can be seen quickly tackling the Prime Minister and moving him to safety as a small explosion sends the gathered crowd into a panic. Moments later white smoke began to fill the area.
The suspect was standing about 10 meters away and was apprehended by members of the crowd, with police arresting 24-year-old Ryuji Kimora on charges relating to forceable disruption of business. He was carrying two silver cylinders, one of which was confiscated by police, while the other was used as the purported smoke bomb.
Ryuji is reportedly not speaking with police.
“That something like this happened in the middle of an election campaign that constitutes the foundation of democracy is regrettable. It’s an unforgivable atrocity,” Hiroshi Moriyama, the Liberal Democratic Party’s election strategy chairman, told NHK television.
The attack comes just before nationwide local elections on April 23. Just nine months ago, in July, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot while giving a speech in the Japanese city of Nara.
Prime Minister Kishida left to continue on with planned events, giving a speech in nearby Wakayama city before heading back to Tokyo.