Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, of J-Pop group AKB48 were hospitalised with broken bones and cuts to their arms and heads after a man wielding a saw attacked the women at a meet-and-greet with fans.
The 24-year-old man, identified as unemployed Satoru Umeta, was lining up to meet AKB48 members after a small concert in Iwate, northern Japan when he produced a 50-centimetre saw.
The Sydney Morning Herald writes, ‘Fans told Japanese media they heard a shriek, apparently from one of the young women, saying “stop it!”
“Some of the 100 or so staff and security guards at the event pounced on the attacker and held him until police arrived, reports said.
“One fan described how Kawaei was covered in blood when she was taken away by medics to a waiting ambulance.”
Police have arrested the man for attempted murder.
AKB48, pronounced A.K.B Forty-eight are a Japanese pop idol group, named after Akihabara, an area of Toyko where the group’s theater is located. The group has more than 140 members, whose ages range between early-teens to early 20s.