Suspicious Object Halts Trains in Japanese City Hosting G-7

Suspicious Object Halts Trains in Japanese City Hosting G-7
Police officers gather at the entrance of the commercial complex "ekie" where a suspicious object was found in Hiroshima, western Japan, on April 25, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO—A suspicious object found Tuesday in a paper bag inside a commercial building connected to the Hiroshima train station temporarily suspended the high-speed train service and prompted an evacuation of customers and employees, as the Japanese city steps up security ahead of the Group of Seven summit next month.

Hiroshima police said its special unit removed the object from the restroom of the building about four hours after it was first spotted, and continued analyzing the content and investigate whether there was any criminal intent involved.

The police dispatched a team of explosives handlers and an anti-terrorism unit after temporarily evacuating all customers and employees and closing down the Ekie commercial building that was crowded with people having lunch and shopping. West Japan Railway Co. suspended the Shinkansen service for about two hours.

Police officials said there is a possibility of overreaction to something that may turn out to be harmless. Officials have stepped up security ahead of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima on May 19–21, and also after an incident 10 days ago when a man threw an explosive device at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the western city of Wakayama. Kishida was unharmed and the suspect arrested.

The attack came less than a year after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination.

By Mari Yamaguchi

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