Suspect in Explosives Attack on Japan’s Prime Minister Is Indicted on Attempted Murder Charge

Suspect in Explosives Attack on Japan’s Prime Minister Is Indicted on Attempted Murder Charge
A man who was later identified as Ryuji Kimura is arrested after what appeared to be a pipe bomb was thrown at Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit at a port in Wakayama, western Japan, on April 15, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO—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.

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

Suspect Ryuji Kimura, 24, was arrested on the spot and underwent a three-month psychiatric evaluation sought by local prosecutors to determine that he is mentally fit for trial.

Police and prosecutors determined that the bomb used in the attack was potentially lethal, according to local media reports.

Prosecutors indicted Mr. 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.

A trial date has not been decided, court officials said.

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

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

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

Gun and bomb violence in Japan is rare, and the attacks on Mr. Abe and Mr. Kishida shocked many in the country. The attacks prompted greater police protection of dignitaries and a review of safety measures during election campaigns.

“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. He promised utmost efforts by police to protect election campaigning and other public events.

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