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A series of incidents targeting prominent politicians in Japan has raised concerns over security measures and the country’s political landscape.
Less than a year after the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by Tetsuya Yamagami, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida faced a similar threat when an explosive device was thrown near him during a campaign speech at the Saikazaki Fishing Port in Wakayama City.
Ryuji Kimura (24), an unemployed suspect, was arrested on charges of intimidation and disruption of business.
The incident occurred just as Prime Minister Kishida was about to take the stage in support of Liberal Democratic Party candidate Hirofumi Kado in the Wakayama 1st District by-election.
A local fisherman described the unusual atmosphere that day, highlighting the suspicious nature of Kimura’s actions leading up to the incident.
The police are investigating the incident, particularly how Kimura managed to get so close to Prime Minister Kishida.
A current police officer with experience as a security guard in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department pointed out issues with the security measures in place that day, emphasizing the dangerously close distance between the prime minister and the audience.
The fact that the explosive device was not powerful is fortunate, but if it had been stronger, there could have been casualties. Some criticized the security officer’s decision to kick the explosive device toward the audience.
However, the police officer explained that protecting the principal is the top priority in VIP protection and considered the response better than during the Yamagami incident.
The two incidents have raised concerns about the safety of politicians, especially during election campaigns, which are considered the most dangerous times for VIPs.
It is difficult to thoroughly inspect personal belongings at all campaign events where politicians interact with large numbers of people.
These recent threats highlight the need for improved security measures and have brought new challenges to Japan’s political landscape.