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Mayu Tomita stabbing: Govt to toughen stalker laws

Mayu Tomita
Mayu Tomita

TOKYO – The ruling bloc announced on Friday plans to strengthen stalker laws after idol star Mayu Tomita was stabbed some 30 times by a male fan on May 21.

The Liberal Democratic Party and ruling coalition partner Komeito announced plans to establish a panel that will look into amending the Stalker Control Act to make obsessive messages on social media subject to regulation, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Friday (May 28).

Komeito has already drafted a summary of proposals and plans to consult with opposition parties to make amendments during the extraordinary Diet session this coming fall.

The Stalker Control Law currently considers repeated phone calls and e-mails as obsessive behavior. The planned panel will aim to expand coverage of the law to include social media messages like tweets and blog comments and enact harsher penalties.

The panel will also set out to allow the Public Safety Commission in each prefecture to enforce restraining orders without requiring police to send warnings to perpetrators.

Yoshihisa Inoue, secretary general of Komeito, told reporters on Friday, “As a lawmaker-sponsored bill, we hope [the law can be expanded] as soon as possible.”