Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated unharmed from a public event in Wakayama after what appeared to be a smoke bomb was thrown at him. The incident occurred as Mr Kishida was about to give a speech at a campaign event. A person was detained at the scene, and police say they have made an arrest but have declined to comment further. No injuries were reported.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a person throw something followed by smoke, while another witness said they heard a big bang. Video footage showed officers piling on top of a person believed to be the suspect. Crowds of people were seen running away from the scene, and one woman said she was stunned and her heart was still beating fast.
Mr Kishida had just started to deliver his speech after touring the fishing harbor in Wakayama when the object was thrown, and he took cover. Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, quoted Mr Kishida as saying there was a "loud blast" at the venue. "Police are investigating details, but I'd like to apologize for worrying many people and causing them trouble," he said.
The person detained was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of business, according to the broadcaster. Mr Kishida will reportedly continue his planned schedule for the rest of the day.
Violent attacks are extremely rare in Japan, but there is nervousness about security around politicians after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead while on the campaign trail last year. Hiroshi Moriyama, a member of Mr Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party, said: "That something like this happened in the middle of an election campaign that constitutes the foundation of democracy is regrettable. It's an unforgivable atrocity."