On Sunday, two members of the famous Japanese pop group AKB48 were attacked by a man wielding a saw. The attack happened at a fan event for the idol group in Takizawa City, Iwate Prefecture, but police are now saying that the two AKB48 girls who were injured in the attack might not have been the perpetrator’s target after all.
The police have since apprehended Satoru Umeta, a 24-year-old man who wielded the saw and attacked the pop group members, causing injuries to their heads and hands. Upon questioning, Umeta said something to the effect of wanting to attack and kill someone on that day but not necessarily the AKB48 members in particular. The police suspect that Umeta got into the event area because of the very lax security, placing a foldable saw in his bag. The security to the even did not check bags, and there is now a growing inquisition as to why security was very lax at the event. In the security guards’ defense, most events in Japan have exactly the same level of security. The incidents of violence using weapons in public events are few and far between, mainly also because of the country’s strict gun control laws.
AKB4’s management cancelled the Monday fan events, considering the attack and the trauma to the pop group members, dancers, and other staff who were in the area when the incident happened. The AKB48 members who were injured – Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama – had emergency surgery the night of the attack. With the surgery successful, both girls appeared to a huge crowd that gathered at the wate Medical University Hospital to see them off. “We’ve caused you worry, but we are returning to Tokyo now,” Kawaei said. “Thank you very much.”
[via The Independent]