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Chiba cops re-arrest suspect in Keyakizaka46 incident on disruption charges

Ryohei Abe
Chiba police first arrested Ryohei Abe for allegedly possessing a knife at an event for idol group Keyakizaka46 in Chiba City last month (TV Asahi)

CHIBA (TR) – A 24-year-old man in custody for possessing a knife at a meet-and-greet event for an all-girl idol group in Chiba City last month has been hit with fresh charges over the igniting of a signal flare, police said on Wednesday, reports TV Asahi (July 6).

On June 24, security guards at Makuhari Messe apprehended Ryohei Abe, a resident of Sapporo’s Shiroishi Ward, for igniting a signal flare at a baggage storage area near where fans had gathered to shake the hands lined up for a “handshake” event with members of Keyakizaka46.

Chiba Prefectural Police arriving at the scene arrested Abe on suspicion of violating the Swords and Firearms Control Law. The knife in his possession had a 12-centimeter long blade. During questioning, the suspect said that he wanted to kill one of the members.

In applying the fresh charges, police have accused Abe of interfering with the duties of personnel at the venue by igniting the flare.

There were no injuries in the incident. The following day, another handshake event featuring the group was held at the same venue with 20 police officers in attendance.

According to police, Abe purchased the knife and flare after arrival in Chiba via a flight from Hokkaido Prefecture.