Man accused of attacking Japan’s PM will undergo psychiatric examination

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A man accused of throwing an explosive at Japan’s prime minister last month will undergo a three-month psychiatric examination, a regional court said on Tuesday.

Ryuji Kimura, 24, was arrested in April for allegedly hurling a pipe bomb-like explosive toward Fumio Kishida as the premier campaigned in the western city of Wakayama.

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Kishida escaped unscathed, but the incident horrified a nation still haunted by the assassination of Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was gunned down last year while giving a speech.

Prosecutors are authorized to detain Kimura until early September for an assessment of his mental state at the time of the attack, a court official, who did not give her name, told AFP.

They are expected to decide whether to indict Kimura based on the evaluation.

The suspect has reportedly remained tight-lipped about his motive for the failed attack on Kishida.

Local media reported that Kimura previously filed a lawsuit challenging requirements that political candidates be at least 30 years of age and have a war chest of at least three million yen ($21,600) to run for national office.

An Osaka High Court spokesman told AFP last month that Kimura had sued the government and his claim was rejected by a lower court.

A ruling on his appeal is expected this month.

The attack put Japan on high alert ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, which wrapped up Sunday, and reignited a debate over police security for politicians.

In an interview with foreign media including AFP last month, Kishida said the attack served as a sobering reminder of the difficulties in balancing interactions with voters against the safety of politicians.

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