A 24-year-old man has been formally indicted by Japanese prosecutors for attempted murder and other charges in the explosives attack on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in April, Fox News reported. The indictment comes after Ryuji Kimura underwent a three-month psychiatric evaluation and prosecutors ultimately determined that he is mentally fit for trial, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.
It was also determined that the bomb used in the attack was lethal.
The assassination attempt happened in April this year when Ryuji Kimura allegedly threw a pipe bomb at Mr Kishida, as he was campaigning in the fishing port of Saikazaki, in the western Japanese city of Wakayama.
Footage from national broadcaster NHK showed the prime minister turning to look backwards as a person was detained by security and people moved away, some shrieking. Seconds later, a blast was heard and white smoke filled the air. The PM was unhurt, but two people received minor injuries.
Kyodo reported that court records show Kimura may have been angry because he couldn’t file for candidacy in 2022 elections. Investigators found he purchased explosives used to make the bomb in November 2022, around the time he lost his lawsuit against the government over the election system.
Prosecutors have now formally indicted Kimura on an attempted murder charge and four others, including violation of the gun and swords control law and the explosives control law, according to the Wakayama District Court.
“The attack that put at risk not only Prime Minister Kishida but also the audience during an election that forms the basis of democracy is absolutely unforgivable,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said after the indictment Wednesday.
The incident in Wakayama came less than a year after the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, which traumatised the country and forced a security shake-up for public officials.