Victim of horrific attack testifies at trial.

Last May, then-20-year-old idol singer Mayu Tomita was attacked by Tomohiro Iwazaki, a 28-year-old man who had become upset when the performer returned gifts he had sent her and was unresponsive to his social media advances. Prior to a scheduled concert, Iwazaki confronted Tomita in-person about the rejection and, unsatisfied with her response, proceeded to stab her with a folding knife more than 20 times in the neck, chest, arms, and back.

Tomita spent several days in a coma before finally regaining consciousness. On February 28, a verdict was reached in Iwazaki’s trial, which was administered by Tokyo’s Tachikawa District Court.

Tomita herself testified at the trial, making her statements from behind a screen. She insisted that Iwazaki was not a fan, but a stalker. She explained that while she survived the attack, her mouth remains partially paralyzed, making it difficult for her to eat or sing, and expressed her fear that her life remains in danger from Iwazaki. “He will definitely do the same thing again. He must not be allowed to go free…If he does not get his way, he will kill. He will resent me, and come to kill me.”

Iwazaki interrupted Tomita’s testimony on multiple occasions, shouting both “Then just kill me already!” and “It’s not like I was going to kill you.” His outbursts eventually led the authorities to order him removed from the courtroom.

In previous statements, Iwazaki insisted that though he purchased the knife one week before the attack, his actions were not premeditated, saying that he bought it as a sort of “psychological omamori,” or good-luck charm. When asked why he stabbed Tomita, he told questioners “I don’t know. I felt like she was rejecting me, which made me feel an absolute sadness, and anger.” Iwazaki also claimed that after stabbing Tomita repeatedly, he asked her if she wanted to live, and when she said she did, he called the paramedics.

The prosecution, however, asserted that Iwazaki’s actions show a definite degree of premeditation behind the attack, and sought a sentence of 17 years of imprisonment for the defendant. The final judgement was slightly more lenient, though, and in the end a 14-year, 6-month prison sentence has handed down for the stalker, with the presiding judge declaring “There is no room for tolerating the motive [Iwazaki] had to carry out the attack. It took away [Tomita’s] dreams, and he must learn to control himself and abide by society’s rules while he is in prison.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Otakomu, NHK World, The Japan Times via Anime News Network
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