What appears to be gunpowder was found in the man suspected of throwing an explosive device at Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an election event, local media reported on Monday.

Mr. Kishida was not injured in the incident on Saturday, in which he was targeted by a homemade bomb in a fishing port in Wakayama (west), where he was to give a speech in support of a candidate of his left.

Police spent more than eight hours on Sunday searching the home of the 24-year-old suspect, named Ryuji Kimura according to media reports, and residents of the area were temporarily evacuated due to the risk of other explosives.

Wakayama police declined to comment on this information.

According to national broadcaster NHK, what appears to be gunpowder, as well as pipe-like objects and tools, were found in the man, and investigators believe the explosive device was homemade.

They are scanning Mr. Kimura’s phone and computer for clues, but the latter has so far refused to give details of the motive for the attack.

He was transferred to the Wakayama prosecutors office from a local police station on Monday, Japanese media reported.

NHK released footage showing him sitting in the back seat of a police car, staring straight ahead as he was being transferred.

The suspect is currently under arrest for willful assault.

This new incident occurred just nine months after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an election rally, which forced the archipelago to review its security arrangements.

It also came as G7 ministerial meetings were taking place in Sapporo (north), and a day before the group’s foreign ministers arrived in the resort town of Karuizawa (center) for talks.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said on Monday that police across the country had been asked “to step up security”.

Officers were ordered to “enhance patrols and surveillance, including to provide security for the G7 summit in Hiroshima”, he said. It is to be held in May.

04/17/2023 10:09:38 –         Tokyo (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP