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Man, 50, accused of making false claims about members of NGT48 online

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 50-year-old man for allegedly making false claims about idol group NGT48, reports NHK (July 21).

On May 24, 2019, Akirhiro Sumi, of no known occupation, wrote about five members on Twitter, “There’s no point to say anything since their hearts and minds have been destroyed through use of stimulant drugs.”

Upon his arrest on suspicion of defamation, Sumi admitted to the allegations. “I wanted to bring down the image of the members,” the suspect told the Azabu Police Station.

Akihiro Sumi (Twitter)

In explaining his motive, Sumi, a resident of Shinjuku Ward, added that he had reacted to “distrust” that emerged following the assault incident involving member Maho Yamaguchi. She left the group six days before Tsuno sent the tweet.

Last month, the management agency for the group consulted with police about the matter. After launching an investigation, police determined that Sumi was likely behind other similar incidents involving the group.