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Japanese Prime Minister Vows Maximum Safety of G7 Leaders After ‘Smoke Bomb’ Attack

JAPAN: The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, has vowed to keep world leaders safe during upcoming G7 meetings, one day after a man threw a pipe-like object, which appeared to be a smoke bomb, at the Prime Minister during an outdoor speech in Wakayama, Japan on 15 April 2023.

“Japan as a whole must strive to provide maximum security during the dates of the summit [in Hiroshima next month] and other gatherings of dignitaries from around the world,” said the Japanese Prime Minister on Sunday, 16 April, as G7 Foreign Ministers gathered in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture of Japan for three days of talks.

On Saturday, a small explosive device was thrown at Prime Minister Kishida as he delivered a campaign speech in support of his ruling party’s candidate in the south-Western city of Wakayama. The Japanese Prime Minister was evacuated unhurt; however, the attack has caused shockwaves in Japan, and drawn comparisons with last year’s assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot during a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

“Violent acts taking place during elections, which are the basis of democracy, can never be tolerated,” said Prime Minister Kishida, while speaking to reporters from his official residence in Tokyo.

“What is important is to carry through this election to the end,” he added. “It is important for our country and for our democracy that the voice of the voters is clearly expressed through the election.”

He vowed that the attack would not disrupt the democratic process.

According to a report from Reuters, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, affirmed on Saturday that police will boost security when Japan hosts the G7 summit in May.

Campaigning is currently underway in Japan’s nationwide local elections. Despite the shocking incident over the weekend, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has already returned to campaigning in support of his Liberal Democratic Party.

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