Singer Mayu Tomita Sues Tokyo Police for 2016 Stabbing
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Singer and songwriter Mayu Tomita filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court against the Tokyo police on Wednesday in relation to a 2016 knife attack she experienced. Tomita is seeking 76 million yen (about US$697,200) from the Tokyo metropolitan government (which oversees the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department), the man who stabbed her, and her agency.
The attack left the now 23-year-old nearly blind in one eye. Tomita also has difficulty eating and breathing, undergoes reconstructive surgery about once every six months, and has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Tomita blames the police for failing to protect her after she reported concerns about her fan Tomohiro Iwazaki (now 30), who later stabbed her. Iwazaki became obsessed with her and repeatedly sent her messages on social media, as well as various gifts. Tomita returned the gifts, and Iwazaki responded with tweets and blog entries that threatened Tomita's life. Tomita reported the incidents to police in early May 2016, and she stated that she specifically said, "I may be killed.”
Iwazaki waited for Tomita near a concert venue that month, confronted her, and stabbed her about 60 times. Tomita was in critical condition due to her injuries, which included neck and chest wounds. The singer regained consciousness in June 2016.
Shortly after the attack, Tomita said that police questioned whether she had actually informed them that her life may be in danger. Lawyers for Tomita are expected to argue that police did not take her reports of Iwazaki's threats seriously and failed to take measures to protect her. Tomita had informed the police about her upcoming performance, but they did not send officers to the venue as a precaution. In addition, Tomita accuses her agency of not adequately protecting her.
Police said that they could not comment on the lawsuit because they "have not received the written complaint.” Tokyo police previously stated that they are taking measures to prevent a similar incident, and they are taking the matter seriously that they "could not prevent [Tomita] from being attacked" despite being aware of the danger.
Iwazaki was charged with attempted murder, and he is serving 14 years and six months in prison for Tomita's stabbing.
Thanks to Arthur Marsh for the news tip.
Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Ryujiro Komatsu, Kayoko Sekiguchi)