TOKYO (TR) – Pop idol Mayu Tomita released a letter blasting police on Friday for failing to recognize she was in danger despite insisting she feared for her life when she was being stalked by a frenzied male fan who later stabbed her dozens of times prior to an event in May.
Tomita’s lawyer read out her letter to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department at a press conference, quoting her as saying, “When police were questioning me about the details, the first words they said to me after we finished greeting one another was ‘Did you really say you thought you might be murdered?’ But yes, I absolutely told them the words ‘I might be murdered.’ I’m done feeling angry that the police won’t recognize this fact. Now I feel sadness,” TBS News reports (Dec. 16).
Tomita, 21, was left fighting for her life after Tomohiro Iwazaki stabbed her over 30 times in her neck, chest, arms and back at a concert venue in Koganei City on May 21.
Police apologized to Tomita directly and released the results of an investigation into the handling of her case on Friday, admitting that officers “should have determined that there was a need to swiftly secure her safety as soon as possible.”
Lack of protection for stalker victims
News reports cited the stabbing as an example of the lack of protection for stalker victims, particularly in light of the fact that Tomita tried to tell officers Iwazaki ranted on his Twitter account for months before he assaulted her.
An emergency dispatcher also fumbled Tomita’s emergency call she made seconds before the assault, dispatching officers to her home instead of the crime scene after failing to follow protocol and confirm her location.
In the handwritten letter, Tomita said she “can’t comprehend, even today, how the police determined there was no danger despite me telling them repeatedly that I might be murdered.”
Tomita still bears numerous scars on her chin and cheeks and is suffering impaired vision in her left eye, her lawyer said.
Rumors of perpetrator appearing in adult video
Tomita’s widely reported case took a bizarre turn when tabloids and netizens identified Iwazaki in an adult video (AV) production featuring performer Yui Hatano, who takes “Real Amateurs on a Virgin Graduation Bus Tour.”
Iwazaki was identified in a group photo taken by one of the participants by confirming the position of his mole and the shape of his face, prompting Afternoon News to muse that the finding “must mean amateurs really are being used” in AV productions.
Workers Magazine reported that Iwazaki made a “disturbing” post prior to the stabbing on his blog, saying that the “kind of women who appear in AV should all commit suicide,” a remark made in light of his discovery that Ai Hashimoto, a model he was infatuated with at the time, was once addicted to romantic pornography.
Workers Magazine raised the possibility that Iwazaki became disillusioned after Hatano revealed her sexual side to him, which she then shared with the other participants while he watched.
The stabbing prompted the government to motion to expand Japan’s Anti-Stalker Law so that obsessive messages on social media are counted as obsessive behavior alongside repeated phone calls and e-mails.
The government also announced plans to allow prefectures to enforce restraining orders without requiring police to send warnings to perpetrators.
Discussions also arose of the lack of protection for independent musicians and idols like Tomita, who appeared in a number of dramas before taking on smaller gigs as a singer and guitarist.
Workers Magazine noted that the key difference between Hatano remaining unharmed and Tomita suffering a life-threatening assault could be the fact that Hatano was an AV starlet protected by her managers under a sizable company, whereas Tomita was just an indie singer-songwriter.
“No one was there to protect her,” Workers Magazine said.