TOKYO: The man accused of throwing an explosive last week toward Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio had filed a damages lawsuit against the government last year over the country’s election system, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
In the lawsuit filed with Kobe District Court, the 24-year-old suspect, Ryuji Kimura, had asserted that it was unconstitutional that he could not run for the House of Councillors election in July last year due to the age and financial requirements.
According to documents related to the lawsuit, Kimura tried to run in the Upper House poll but could not because he was below the minimum age of 30 years and did not have a deposit.
He had demanded 100,000 yen in compensation for moral damage, claiming that the age and deposit requirements under the public offices election law are discriminatory and therefore violate the Constitution.
Kimura filed the suit pro se on June 22 last year, when the official campaign period for the Upper House election started. In November, Kobe District Court ruled that the requirements are reasonable and dismissed his claim.
He appealed the decision, and Osaka High Court was scheduled to give its verdict on the appeal in May this year.
In September last year, a young man who appeared to be Kimura told Masaki Ogushi, state minister for digital transformation, at a meeting in Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, that the minimum age for Upper House candidacy should be lowered, according to Ogushi’s office.
On Saturday, Kimura was arrested on suspicion of forcible obstruction of business by tossing an explosive toward Kishida during a campaign trail in the western city of Wakayama.
Surveillance camera footage showed that Kimura arrived at the scene after Kishida, apparently aiming to avoid possible police inquiries.