Mayu Tomita, a former pop idol who was seriously injured during an attack by an obsessed fan before giving a live music performance about three years ago, filed a damages lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as well as the attacker.
In the lawsuit, Tomita and her mother claimed that the Metropolitan Police Department “failed to take necessary steps to protect” her even though she had told them of “imminent danger,” including threats against her life. They are demanding a total of some ¥76 million in damages from the metropolitan government and the convicted attacker, Tomohiro Iwazaki, 30.
In May 2016, Tomita, then a university student and singer, was stabbed in the neck, chest and other parts of the body by Iwazaki near the entrance to a building where she was scheduled to perform in Koganei, western Tokyo.
Tomita was left unconscious and in critical condition following the attack. Iwazaki was sentenced to 14½ years in prison.
According to the complaint, she consulted with the MPD’s Musashino Police Station over concerns about Iwazaki’s stalking before the incident, including posts on Twitter and his blog that said he wanted to “kill her.” But the police did not take any measures to protect her, the complaint said.
“I hope this (upcoming) trial will help prevent similar incidents,” Tomita said in a note disclosed at a news conference. She is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, her lawyers said.
“I regret trusting the police,” Tomita’s mother said at the same news conference.
The police have already admitted that they should have responded promptly to prevent the attack.
“We take seriously the fact that we were unable to prevent the incident despite being asked for support,” an official of the police department said. “We are working as one to prevent similar incidents.”