Man Sentenced to 14 Years for Stabbing Singer
The Tokyo District Court sentenced Tomohiro Iwazaki (28) to 14 years and six months in prison on Tuesday for stabbing 21-year-old singer and songwriter Mayu Tomita (pictured at right, no relation to the former AKB48 member of the same name) before an event last May.
Tomita was in critical condition after receiving nearly two dozen stab wounds on the neck and chest. She later regained consciousness, and is continuing her rehabilitation. She testified in court behind a screen, sharing that she has had difficulty singing or eating due to partial paralysis of her mouth, and that she is also having trouble with her eyesight.
While she was testifying, Iwazaki interrupted Tomita and shouted, “Then you should kill me.” He was removed from the courtroom. Before the verdict was handed down, Iwazaki apologized to Tomita and her family, and promised to learn patience in prison.
The presiding judge commented that Iwazaki’s attack took away Tomita’s dreams, and that Iwazaki “must learn to control himself and abide by society’s rules while he is in prison.”
Police had found Iwazaki at the scene in May. According to police, Iwazaki allegedly admitted that he had stabbed Tomita due to her returning a gift he had sent her, without clearly explaining the reason why. He had allegedly been waiting for her at the station to ask her about the gift.
Prior to the attack, Iwazaki repeatedly tried to contact Tomita online. Tomita had previously reported Iwazaki’s actions to the police but the police did not consider the matter urgent. The police later apologized for not taking action.
Tomita was scheduled to perform at a venue in Koganei, Tokyo on the night of the attack. Singer Ray and idol unit AŌP cancelled their scheduled handshake events the same weekend.
Sources: The Japan Times, NHK