Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
William Walker

Japan Prime Minister evacuated as panicked onlookers flee with explosion heard at speech

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

During his outdoor speech in the city of Wakayama, a “pipe-like object” was said to have been thrown near the PM, local media reported.

NHK said the Prime Minister instantly took cover following the incident and remained safe and there had been no other injuries reported.

Following the ordeal, an “evacuation was carried out” and footage uploaded to Twitter appeared to show 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.

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (AP)

Kishida was visiting the Saikazaki port in Wakayama prefecture to cheer his ruling party's candidate in a local election.

The explosion occurred just before he was to begin his speech, NHK said. No injuries were reported in the incident and Kishida was taken to Wakayama prefectural police headquarters, it added.

One witness told NHK she was among the crowd and saw something come flying from behind and that there was a sudden loud noise and she fled with her children.

Another witness said people were screaming and that he saw someone being apprehended right before the explosion occurred.

Saturday's attack comes ahead of nationwide local elections, including a by-election for a vacated seat in the lower house of the Parliament, with voting scheduled for April 23.

Kishida was visiting the Saikazaki port in Wakayama prefecture (Kyodo)

The incident comes only nine months after Kishida's predecessor, Shinzo Abe, was assassinated while delivering a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

In Abe's assassination, the attacker allegedly shot Abe with a homemade gun as the former leader was making a campaign speech.

The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, has been charged with murder and several other crimes including violation of a gun control law.

The assassination shocked the nation and a subsequent investigation found holes in Abe's security and led to reinforcement of Japan's police security measures.

The latest attack also comes as a series of Group of Seven ministerial meetings begins this weekend ahead of the May 19-21 summit that Kishida will host in Hiroshima.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.