crime

Man jailed for 6 years for slashing two AKB48 singers

17 Comments

The Morioka District Court in Iwate Prefecture on Tuesday handed down a 6-year prison term to a man who slashed two members of the megapopular all-girl pop group AKB48 with a 50-cm-long hand-saw during a handshake event with fans in Iwate Prefecture last year.

Prosecutors had requested a 7-year sentence, Iwate Nippo reported.

The defendant, Satoru Umeta, a 24-year-old man, was arrested after he attacked Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 19, as well as a staff member during a handshake event held by the group for its fans at the Iwate Industrial Culture Center in Takizawa, Iwate Prefecture, last May 25.

The presiding judge said Umenta had done something "cruel and very hazardous, which could have taken people's lives."

"The fear the victims had during the event, where they were meeting with fans, and the mental damage were significant," judge Takehiko Okada said.

Umeta's lawyer said his client has shown signs of schizophrenia and was suffering from frustration because of his poor communication skills.

The court heard that Umeta was in the line of about 50 fans when he cut the singers and the staff member. Both girls received cuts on their arms and heads. Umeta was charged with attempted murder.

Handshake events are very popular among AKB48 fans all over Japan. Anyone who buys the group's CD is eligible to attend a handshake event. Officials said fans' bags are never searched.

The group's homepage lists each week where the girls will be. About 40 of the girls take part and shake hands with fans who usually form two lines.

Umeta, who is unemployed, came from Towada in neighboring Aomori Prefecture.

© Japan Today/AFP

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17 Comments
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Here is to hoping he gets the care he needs while in prison. Doubtful, but hopeful.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Seems a bit of a harsh sentence. Remember back when some members of a Kyoto university rugby or American football club gang raped a female student at a nomikai and got 0 years behind bars? You've just gotta love Japanese sentencing. Most likely, this Umeta couldn't afford enough restitution money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! A six year sentence? Seems a bit harsh.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Ot seems he could have never been able to kill anyone with a saw. Justice is judging on mental stress...yes that guy needs help. And there are thousands like him in the streets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sad to see:

Here is to hoping he gets the care he needs while in prison. Doubtful, but hopeful.

getting thumbed down.

So what happens when he gets out? Rinse and repeat, or someone better equipped to cope?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A six year sentence? Seems a bit harsh.

Actually, six years for two attempted murders seems correct to me.

The points about the need for the man to receive psychiatric care while in prison also are correct.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

To be consistent, first degree murder (even by 18-year old criminals) should get 10-25 years, then.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Jonathan Prin

Ot seems he could have never been able to kill anyone with a saw

Even if he had cut an artery while aiming for their heads ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think people are saying that six years seems harsh because in many cases here people get less for actual murder. I agree that six is not actually that bad, given that he seriously injured three people (I feel sorry for the staffer, who barely gets a mention), possibly with the intent to kill, but I wish there were some consistency with penalties here.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

6 years is not enough in my opinion. You have to consider that he slashed their faces too, which are important for their job as entertainer. I would like it if he got help, but he still did a terrible thing,so je deserves what he got.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

6 years is not enough in my opinion. You have to consider that he slashed their faces too, which are important for their job as entertainer.

Yeah. Why let him out, ever?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Six years is adequate for this crime. Culprit is a nut job and shouldn't run free, slashing AKB group members or anyone else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Without doubt the unprovoked assault and injuries sustained to both Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama, warrant a custodial sentence. If Satoru Umeta is a schizophrenic, insinuated in his defence, a indefinite period in a secure institution until deemed mentally fit to return to society might have been more fitting. Attempting to communicate with a 50-cm-long hand-saw constitutes criminal insanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No follow-up report on how the victims are doing? Shame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh he was ''suffering from frustration''. What a pathetic excuse. Maybe next time I'm feeling frustrated I'll go attack someone with a knife! 6 years for injuring and emotionally scarring those two girls? This lunatic could have assaulted any one of us. Send him to a North Korean prison camp or an IS jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe he should have been taken to a prison mental institution. This man needs psychiatric help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

recommend a fake hand next time :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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