Man Threw Flare at Keyakizaka46 Handshake Event, Arrested for Bringing Knife

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
No one injured at Saturday event

A man threw a flare during a handshake event for the Keyakizaka46 idol group on Saturday. While the flare was quickly extinguished and no one was injured, authorities allegedly found that the man had a fruit knife, and Chiba Prefectural Police arrested the suspect for violation of the Swords and Firearms Control Law.

The handshake event took place in Chiba's Makuhari Messe convention center. 24-year-old unemployed Sapporo resident Ryōhei Abe was in line for the handshake with Keyakizaka46 members Yurina Hirate and Memi Kakizaki when, at around 7:40 p.m., he threw the flare. According to authorities, the suspect stated in his deposition that he "thought he'd go and kill" one of the idols, though authorities would not reveal the name of the suspect's intended target.

Event staff members restrained Abe until police could arrive, and also used a fire extinguisher to put out the flare. The police then supposedly found a 12.6-cm (about 4.9-inch) blade on his person.

The idol group continued the handshake event, and also held a separate handshake event the next day.

According to event staff, fans had to go through a metal detector and have their bags inspected before entering the event. Police are investigating how the suspect managed to bring a flare and knife to the event.

Keyakizaka46 is a sister idol group of Nogizaka46, which is in turn a spinoff "rival" group of the popular AKB48. The group was established in 2015

Source: Sankei News (link 2) via Hachima Kikō (link 2) (link 3)

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