A man in his 20s from Osaka Prefecture is likely to be referred to prosecutors soon for alleged abuse of Hana Kimura, a now-deceased former cast member on the popular reality TV show “Terrace House,” investigative sources said Wednesday.
The man is suspected by Tokyo Metropolitan Police of having defamed Kimura on Twitter several times, making comments anonymously such as “Is there any point in you living?” and “Hey, when are you going to die?” in response to her posts.
Kimura, a 22-year-old professional wrestler, was found dead at her apartment in Tokyo in May in a suspected suicide after becoming the target of abusive posts on social media.
Her case highlighted the issue of cyberbullying and promoted calls for more action to prevent and track down anonymous users posting abusive and defamatory comments.
A scene in one episode from the now-canceled series, in which Kimura lost her temper, triggered hate messages against her. The show was broadcast by Fuji Television and also aired on U.S. streaming service Netflix with English subtitles.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 119 in Japan for immediate assistance. The TELL Lifeline is available for those who need free and anonymous counseling at 03-5774-0992. You can also visit telljp.com. For those in other countries, visit www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for a detailed list of resources and assistance.
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