Saw-Wielding Fan Attacks Famed Female Pop Group

2 of Japan's AKB48 members hospitalized

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 26, 2014 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Japan has been stunned by an attack on female pop group AKB48—the world's biggest group of its kind. A saw-wielding "fan" lunged forward and attacked the group at a meet-and-greet event yesterday, leaving two of its teenage members in need of emergency surgery for cut and broken fingers and facial injuries, reports the BBC. A 24-year-old man was arrested.

The group's manager says the women's condition is stable and they should be able to leave the hospital today, Reuters reports. A Tokyo concert scheduled for tonight has been canceled, and the rare crime has prompted calls for tighter security at events involving the group, which started out with 48 members but now has 64, chosen by fans every year from a 237-member pool. (Last year, one member shaved her head and made a video apology after she was caught spending the night with a boyfriend.)

A man shops at an AKB48 cafe and shop in Tokyo's Akihabara district today.
A man shops at an AKB48 cafe and shop in Tokyo's Akihabara district today.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
AKB48 members pose for photographers at the opening premiere of their new film Documentary of AKB48 No Flower Without Rain.
AKB48 members pose for photographers at the opening premiere of their new film "Documentary of AKB48 No Flower Without Rain."   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)
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