May 8, 2023
TOKYO – The man suspected of throwing a pipe bomb at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a campaign event in Wakayama last month is believed to have made gunpowder at home, according to investigative sources.
The police discovered chemical materials that can be used to produce gunpowder when they searched the home of suspect Ryuji Kimura, 24, who was arrested at the scene of the attack on April 15.
Gunpowder, which contains potassium nitrate, ignites easily and discharges a large amount of smoke when it burns.
On Saturday, Kimura was served with a fresh arrest warrant on suspicion of violating the Explosives Control Law.
Kimura, who is unemployed, had been living with his mother and elder brother in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, according to police sources. Family members have told the police he tended to shut himself away from others.
When the prefectural police searched his home, they confiscated materials including chemicals, metal pipes and tools. Authorities suspect Kimura made explosives at home with the chemical materials.
The police are examining various items to ascertain the force of the explosives. Authorities are considering pursuing charges including attempted murder or violation of explosive-related laws.
Kimura was held after a pipe bomb was thrown toward Kishida during a campaign event at a fishing port in Saikazaki. The prime minister was unharmed, but two people, including a member of the crowd, were slightly injured.
According to the sources, Kimura has remained silent during police questionings.