'I Lost My Temper': Suspect in Stabbing of Japan Pop Star

Mayu Tomita was reportedly stalked on social media by man who says she spurned gift
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2016 7:49 AM CDT
'I Lost My Temper': Suspect in Stabbing of Japan Pop Star
Photo from Mayu Tomita's Twitter account.   (Twitter)

A young Japanese pop star remains in critical condition after a man attacked her with a knife on Saturday at a Tokyo event, reportedly because she may have spurned a gift from him, per the Japan Times. Mayu Tomita, 20, was said by Tokyo Metropolitan Police to have been stabbed "several times" around 5pm local time, with some reports numbering the stabbings at more than 20, per CNN. She had been set to perform that evening in the same building. Tomohiro Iwazaki, 27, was arrested and admitted to the attack, police say, and he may have been the same Iwazaki that Tomita said had been stalking her on social media lately. Police said they recovered a bloody folding knife at the scene, and Japanese news station NHK says Tomita was found unconscious with stab wounds to the neck, back, and chest, People reports.

Earlier this month, Tomita had told cops a man named Iwazaki had been posting unwanted messages on Twitter and via her blog. Sources say tweets on a now-suspended account believed to have been Iwazaki's referenced a watch he supposedly sent to Tomita in January, NBC News notes, followed by references to the watch being returned. "I will never forget that I was looked down upon by you," a February message read, per the Times. Whether that person was Iwazaki remains to be confirmed, though police sources note that after the stabbing, Iwazaki reportedly said, "I ambushed her at the station and asked her [about the gift]. I lost my temper and stabbed her many times because she didn't clearly answer." He's expected to face attempted-murder charges. Meanwhile, the Times notes Japan's anti-stalking law doesn't adequately cover social media harassment. (A Japanese girl group was attacked by a "fan" with a saw two years ago.)

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