Japanese PM attacked: Kishida resumes campaigning, vows to ensure safety during G7 summit

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan must do everything to ensure safety as foreign dignitaries gather for meetings of the Group of Seven industrial powers and prepare for a summit next month.

PM Kishida was attacked with what appeared to be a smoke bomb on Saturday, just moments before he was to begin his speech at Wakayama, supporting his ruling party’s candidate in a local election. He was evacuated safely and escaped unhurt.

“Police are investigating the details of the loud explosive sound at the previous speech venue,” Kishida said when he resumed his campaign speeches. “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,” he was quoted by the news agency Reuters as saying.

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Speaking to reporters, Kishida said Japan must not allow acts of violence that attack the foundation of democracy.

The attack on Kishida comes less than a year after former PM Shinzo Abe was shot while delivering an election campaign speech in July last year. Forty-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami used a handmade gun to shoot Abe.

Japanese politicians are campaigning for by-elections on April 23 for the lower house of Parliament.

Police have been instructed to boost security and the government would do what is necessary to ensure security when Kishida hosts the May G7 summit in Hiroshima, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

G7 foreign ministers gather on Sunday for a meeting in the resort city of Karuizawa, while the group’s environment and energy ministers are meeting this weekend in Sapporo in northern Japan.

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