Japan PM evacuated after apparent smoke bomb blast during speech – BBC NewsApr 21, 2023
Welcome to the program. I am Lucy Gray, a man arrested on suspicion of throwing a
bombat Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has been identified by authorities as 24-year-old Ryuji Kimura. There are no further details on a possible motivation of Mr. Kishida. Giving a
speechin support of a local candidate from his ruling party, LDP Prime Minister Kishida delivered a
speechelsewhere later, where he said the incident must not be allowed to disrupt the electoral process. The attack comes ahead of nationwide and local elections. by-election for vacant seats in Japan's lower house our correspondent China Khalil has in Tokyo the latest very dramatic scenes coming this morning from wakayama in western Japan chaos among the crowd as a young man is tackled and then restrained in the ground for personal safety and then a screaming crowd rushing to leave the scene um when a loud explosion is heard and then
smokefills the air the man is then carried from the scene the prime minister is taken to safety we hear from a witness who said that she was in the crowd of about a hundred people, she saw something flying from behind, she felt calm, she ran away with her children, and then said she felt stunned, the loud noise made her daughter cry, we understand that Prime Minister para mukishida was about to give a speech after visiting a port in that area in support of his ruling party's local candidate uh ldp in the upcoming local elections and just as he was about to start this object was thrown at him he bent over and they took him to security we have heard from the Prime Minister now that this event was canceled at that particular venue but then at another event he addressed the crowd looking of course defiant wanting to send the message that he is unfazed by this and that you won't stop saying that this shouldn't stop the electoral process that we're doing something important and this shouldn't stop it, but it does raise important security issues, doesn't it?
Particularly as it takes place shortly after the assassination of the former prime minister. Shinzo Abe, that's right, this comes less than a year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo ABI and very uncomfortable parallels are being drawn, firstly, that it happened relatively shortly after that high-profile assassination. Remember that these events are very, very rare in Japan. this is one of the safest countries in the world, they have very strict gun laws, but in the murder, um, just before, uh, since shinzu ABI was killed, we could see the assailant standing very close to him before he was shot. shoot with a home mom.
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japan pm evacuated after apparent smoke bomb blast during speech bbc news...
Today the young man seemed to be in the middle of the crowd when he threw that object, so we don't know the motivation yet, but I think this will make a lot of people uncomfortable about the parallels as well. Shin zawabi was also giving a political speech and that was what kishida was trying to do mr kishida ever since the assassination of Shinzo ABI there has been more security around politicians but also a higher degree of nervousness this and I think the incident of today is going to increase that a lot more we can now talk to Hugo Dobson, professor of international relations for Japan at the University of Sheffield, and let's pick up on what Shima was saying there about the changes that the tightening of security has brought since the Shinzo assassination . changes that were introduced and can you tell us a bit more about them?
Well, good morning, Lucy, and I think one thing to highlight here is that, within Japan, there was a debate in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Harvey, it was done by the National Police agency. to admit that mistakes were made and review was instigated, and I think one flaw that was identified was that Prime Minister Abe was not
evacuatedfrom the scene as quickly as should have been the case, two shots were fired, it was the second shot the What did he kill and it was that time in between that turned out to be fatal I think from what I have seen today we are still trying to piece together the details that this lesson was learned in the case of the incident this morning and Prime Minister Kishida was quickly eliminated and effectively off the scene immediately but it's always going to be hard to mitigate against people acting alone with readily available low tech weapons so it's a challenge and it's a challenge it's at the heart of our democracy we want to be close to our politicians we want them to be visible but it also carries certain security risks and I understand particularly when it comes to local elections people are more likely to be in crowds the closer the politicians are and the less staged they are aren't these events absolutely?
Japanese election campaigns tend to get up close and personal. attend often, the prime minister will be there to endorse a candidate, so you know that election campaigns in Japan tend to put an emphasis on the personal, and then that risk or ineptitude will intensify as a result, but it's interesting to see that the first minister kishido continued with the program he is speaking today and was unaffected by the incident ok good to talk to you thank you professor Hugo Dobson from the University of Sheffield
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