Japanese PM unharmed after explosion at Wakayama speech site, suspect arrested
Updated 14:32, 15-Apr-2023

A loud explosion was heard at a fishing port in western Japan during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit on Saturday morning, reported NHK.

Kishida was unharmed and was safely escorted out of the site shortly after the incident.

The prime minister was visiting the port in Saikazaki, Wakayama City. He was due to give a speech when the blast was heard, according to media reports.

Local police said a man was arrested at the scene, and there were no injuries.

The explosion was purportedly caused by a cylindrical object that was hurled at the site, Jiji Press reported. Kishida apologized for "causing concern and trouble" in a street speech in Wakayama after the incident occurred. 

The prime minister, currently at the Wakayama Prefecture's main police headquarters, canceled his public speech in the area, Kyodo News reported.

The blast came less than a year after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Nara. Abe, former leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was delivering a speech campaigning for an LDP candidate for the upper house election when the incident took place last July. 

Japan is currently hosting Group of Seven (G7) ministerial meetings in northern Sapporo and the city of Karuizawa in Nagano ahead of the G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima next month.

(Cover: A man is captured at a fishing port in Wakayama City, Japan, April 15, 2023. /CFP)

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