Japanese pop star Mayu Tomita is in critical condition after she was repeatedly stabbed in the neck and chest before a show in Tokyo Saturday, NBC News reported Monday. Her alleged stalker, Tomohiro Iwazaki, was arrested at the scene.
Tomita was reportedly stabbed more than 20 times and rushed to a hospital, CNN reported. She has not yet regained consciousness.
Iwazaki, 27, obtained a knife with the intention of killing Tomita, 20, after she returned a watch he'd sent to her as a gift, according to media reports cited by NBC News.
Some of the reported information was obtained through Iwazaki’s Twitter account, which has been suspended. Before the suspension, however, Iwazaki reportedly tweeted that he was insulted Tomita returned the gift, saying the pop star was “looking down upon him.”
Tomita rose to fame in 2011 after she was cast in the Fuji TV online series called “Secret Girls.” The premise was that she and four other young Japanese women were “normal junior high school girls who lead secret lives as J-Pop stars” in a group also called Secret Girls, Billboard reported.
A month before the assault, Tomita alerted police Iwazaki was stalking her on social media.
Some confused Tomita with a singer in the Japanese pop group AKB48 who has the same name. Adding to the confusion is the fact the assault Saturday was similar to one carried out in 2014, when a supposed fan slashed two members of AKB48 and an associate, Billboard reported. Last year, Satoru Umeta, 24, was convicted of assaulting Anna Iriyama, Rina Kawaei and their associate, CNN said.
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