You think young pop stars (aka idols) have it easy? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
A Japanese female idol is in critical condition after suffering nearly 2 dozen stabs to her neck and chest by a crazed fan while she was waiting to perform at a concert venue. Mayu Tomita has yet to regain consciousness since the incident on 5pm JST (4pm Malaysian time) Saturday (21st May) in Koganei, western Tokyo.
Tomohiro Iwazaki, a fan of Tomita, was arrested after eye-witnesses testified against him. He said he attacked her as she had allegedly returned a gift he had sent to her.
After Iwazaki was arrested, he reportedly told police that he ambushed Tomita at the station and asked her about his gift. He was enraged when she did not answer and proceeded to stab her multiple times.
A man in his 40s, who was part of the event, said Tomita talked about a stalker who demanded to know her phone number.
The Metropolitan Police Department received a call from the public and saw a bloodied folding knife with an 8.2cm blade at the crime scene. Iwazaki was standing nearby and admitted that he committed the crime.
Earlier last month, Tomita had complained to the police that a man named Iwazaki had been bugging her constantly on social media. Japanese media reported that she contacted police after the man started posting obsessive comments about her on Twitter and other social media sites.
According to The Japan Times, Tomita’s Twitter account was filled with messages from Iwazaki, who claimed to have sent a watch to her sometime between January and February. However, the watch was returned to the sender in April.
“I will never forget that I was looked down upon by you,” a message sent on 22nd February read. “It would be radical to kill just because (someone was) rejected by a girl,” read another message dated 15th March.
Iwazaki is now charged with attempted murder by Tokyo police.
Tomita currently works as a pop star and actor while completing her studies in college. She is a kenkyuusei (apprentice member) for AKB48, and will be promoted as an official member of the team when a current member leaves.
Just 4 days ago, Chinese actress Liu Yi Fei was attacked by a fan at a publicity event for her new movie, “Night Peacock (夜孔雀)”. Liu was interacting with fans, when a man suddenly rushed up to the stage and tackled her, causing both of them to fall to the ground. The actress was not injured but the event had to be cancelled.
Back in 2011, Korean singer Kim Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation (SNSD) was dragged off from stage mid-performance. The idol group was performing for the “Angel Price Music Festival” at the Lotte World ice rink when a male audience member walked up to the stage from the backstage area and attempted to pull Taeyeon away. Fortunately, fellow member Sunny and the emcee of the event managed to stop the man.
The cases mentioned highlight the inadequate safety regulations for Asian celebrities, with the increase of sasaeng (stalker) fans in Korea and internationally.
The public are also questioning entertainment companies for the lack of security at events, where it is attended by hundreds, or even thousands of people, some of which might harbor ill-intentions.