The suspect who threw an explosive device at Prime Minister Kishida will receive a three-month psychiatric evaluation before prosecutors decide whether to prosecute him.
A Wakayama prefectural court official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said today that prosecutors were authorized to hold suspect Ryuji Kimura, 24, until early September to assess his mental state at the time of the attack. Based on the results of a psychiatric evaluation conducted over the course of three months, the prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute Kimura.
Kimura was arrested in April after throwing an explosive device towards the podium where Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was about to deliver a campaign speech at Saikazaki Fishing Harbor in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture. Mr. Kishida was not injured in the attack.
After eight hours of searching the suspect’s home in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, police found gunpowder suspected to be black explosives, metal pipes and tools. They also analyzed Kimura’s phone and computer for clues.
Ryuji Kimura was transferred to the prosecutor’s office in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture on April 17. Photo: AFP
The suspect has yet to inform police of the reason for the attack. Kimura has filed a lawsuit against the requirement that political candidates in Japan be at least 30 years old and have a campaign budget of at least 3 million yen ($21,600) to run for government office.
A spokesman for the Osaka High Court said last month that Kimura had filed a lawsuit against the government, but it was rejected by a lower court. The court is expected to rule on his appeal this month.
The attack on Kishida came as G7 climate and energy ministers met in the northern city of Sapporo and a day before a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in the resort town of Karuizawa.
The Japanese government then asked police across the country to beef up security, increasing patrols and guards, ensuring security for major events, including the recent G7 summit in Hiroshima, which ended last weekend.
The chaotic scene at Kishida’s attack is reminiscent of the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year. Mr. Abe was shot twice with a homemade gun by suspect Tetsuya Yamagami while giving a speech.
Huyen Le (according to AFP)