TOKYO (TR) – The frenzied male stalker charged with stabbing pop idol Mayu Tomita over 20 times pleaded guilty to attempted murder during his trial that started Monday.
The court heard a statement by Tomita, 21, who was rendered unconscious in critical condition for at least two weeks after Tomohiro Iwazaki, 27, stabbed her over 20 times during a fan greeting event in May 2016, Nippon News Network reports (Feb. 20).
Iwazaki admitted to charges of attempted murder after the court questioned him about stabbing Tomita’s neck, chest, arms and back at the concert venue in Koganei City on May 21.
Tomita told the court in her statement that Iwazaki “kept persistently trying to talk to me, so I shot back at him with a strong tone and tried to call the police. That’s when I felt a blow in the right side of my stomach, and looked to see that I was stabbed by a knife.”
“He kept saying ‘die, die’ over and over,” Tomita said. “I recall thinking very calmly that I just had to protect my heart above all else.”
“I hope [Iwazaki] will be in jail for the rest of his life,” Tomita said. “I can’t help but be afraid. Who knows if he’ll resent me and come kill me for real this time.”
Iwazaki was seen occasionally smiling as Tomita’s statement was read out.
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.
Tomita blasted police in a letter in December 2016 for failing to recognize she was in danger despite insisting she feared for her life when Iwazaki was stalking her.
The frenzied fan’s Twitter account showed he ranted about Tomita for some four months on his Twitter before attacking Tomita, making statements like “I liked Tomita. I wanted to marry her.”
Iwazaki reportedly told police Tomita “embarrassed” him by sending back gifts he sent her, including a wristwatch.
Criminal starred in Yui Hatano AV
“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?’” Tomita said in her letter to police. “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.”
Police directly apologized to Tomita and released the results of an investigation into the handling of her case, admitting that officers “should have determined that there was a need to swiftly secure her safety as soon as possible.”
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.”