Suspect in the explosives attack on Japan’s prime minister is indicted on attempted murder

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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors formally indicted a 24-year-old man Wednesday on attempted murder and other charges in the explosives attack on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in April, court officials said.

Kishida was campaigning for elections in a small fishing port in Wakayama in western Japan when a man at the speech venue suddenly threw a homemade pipe bomb at him. Kishida was unhurt, but two people had minor injuries.

Suspect Ryuji Kimura, 24, was arrested on the spot and had been on a three-month psychiatric evaluation sought by the local prosecutors to determine if he is mentally fit for trial. Police and prosecutors also determined that the bomb used in the attack was lethal, according to local media reports.

Prosecutors 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, which accepted the indictment.

Trial dates have yet to be decided, court officials said.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege that Kimura threw the handmade pipe bomb at Kishida with an intent to kill, causing minor injuries to a police officer and a local resident in the audience, Kyodo News reported.

Kimura has refused to talk to the authorities. But he may have been angry because he couldn’t file for candidacy in 2022 elections, Japanese media reported.

Investigators found he purchased explosives used to make the bomb in November, around the time he lost his lawsuit against the government over the election system, Kyodo News said.

The attack came about a year after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and killed while campaigning for elections in Nara, western Japan.

Gun and bomb violence in Japan is exceedingly rare, and the attacks on Abe and Kishida shocked many in the country.

Read More: Suspect in the explosives attack on Japan’s prime minister is indicted on attempted murder

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