Two members of popular Japanese girl group AKB48 and a staff member were injured by a saw-wielding fan, yesterday afternoon at a fan meet held in Iwata prefecture. The members injured are Anna Iriyama and Rina Kawaei.
When the attacker shook hands with Anna and Rina, who were in the same cubicle, he whipped out a saw and lounged at them. A crew member who attempted to stop him was injured in the process. The two girls were also injured: Rina suffered from a fracture on her right thumb while Anna had a fracture on her right pinky, for which they have to undergo a hand surgery; both girls also sustained head injuries.
Police officers and an ambulance rushed to the scene after being contacted by the organisers, and the culprit was arrested on the spot. Anna, Rina and the injured crew member were sent to the hospital immediately.
Their management announced on its webpage that the girls are now out of danger, though they are still not discharged from the hospital yet.
The suspect was identified as a 24-year-old unemployed man named Satoru Umeta who resides in Towada, Aomori Prefecture. Although his motives are still not clear, he was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
One netizen had identified himself as the man’s father, and commented online that he will take responsibility for his son’s actions and apologise.
A media source revealed that past AKB events have had tight security, and would check the belongings of entrees thoroughly, a measure which unfortunately the organisers did not take this time.