Video footage emerged over the weekend that showed how a quick thinking bodyguard for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida saved the political leader from harm after a man threw a explosive device at him during a campaign event.
Kishida, who was campaigning in western Japan, was not injured in the attack, but a police officer did receive treatment for some minor injuries. Police immediately detained a young man — tackling him to the ground — after “the suspicious object” was thrown at Kishida.
Video shows that a bodyguard standing closely to Kishida saw the moment that the object hit the ground near where he was standing and immediately ran toward the device to kick it away while deploying a shield to protect the leader.
A bodyguard blocks an explosive, kicks it away, and quickly unfolds a shield while evacuating the Japanese Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/NIQWKqshNj
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) April 16, 2023
The explosive happened several seconds after the prime minister’s team whisked him away. After the bang, people scream and run away while white smoke can be seen rising from where the explosion went off.
Video appeared to show bystanders grabbing the suspect, who is a 24-year-old named Kimura.
“We are holding an important election for our country, and we must work together with all of you to see it through,” Kishida said after the attack as his party, the Liberal Democrats, announced that they would continue to hold campaign events before upcoming elections.
“Elections are the core of democracy, and we should never tolerate threats or obstruction by violence,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.
The explosive attack occurred less than one year after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while campaigning in western Japan. Abe, a center-Right politician, was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister since WWII, serving between 2012 and 2020.
Tetsuya Yamagami, who allegedly shot Abe in July with a homemade gun, will stand trial for murder and a gun charge, according to the Nara District Court. The charges come after a lengthy mental examination to determine whether Yamagami could be tried.