Japan PM Kishida evacuated unhurt after blast at speech

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STORY: An explosion is heard at a venue, where Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was due to make a speech on Saturday (April 15).

Police detained a suspect, who threw what appeared to be a smoke bomb.

Witnesses say they saw an object sailing over their heads, head a loud explosion, and then clouds of smoke.

The prime minister himself took cover and was evacuated unhurt, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Local news outlets say a 24-year-old male from Kawanishi city was arrested in relation to the incident, but police have so far yet to provide more details on the suspect.

The incident happened in Saikazaki, a small fishing town 40 miles southwest of Osaka city. The Japanese prime minister was being served local speciality seafood just before the explosion, media reported.

Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party confirmed he would continue his Saturday afternoon campaign after the incident. By-elections in various regions for the lower house of Japan's parliament are to be held on April 23.

Political violence is extremely rare in Japan, but security measures were reviewed for politicians after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot to death last year, shocking a nation unused to gun crime.

Kishida is set to host a Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima next month.

Japan’s foreign ministry said after Saturday’s incident there would be no change to G7 security plans.