In the lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court on July 10, Tomita is seeking a total of 76 million yen ($697,200) in compensation from the Tokyo metropolitan government, under whose jurisdiction the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department falls, the assailant and her agency. Tomita’s lawyers are expected to argue that police failed to take necessary measures to protect her despite her prior consultations with them about the threats to her life. Her agency is accused of not giving adequate consideration to her safety. The assailant, Tomohiro Iwazaki, now 30, was convicted of attempted murder and is serving a prison term of 14 years and six months.
According to the complaint, she consulted with the MPD’s Musashino Police Station over concerns about Iwazaki’s stalking before the incident, including posts on Twitter and his blog that said he wanted to “kill her.” But the police did not take any measures to protect her, the complaint said. “I hope this (upcoming) trial will help prevent similar incidents,” Tomita said in a note disclosed at a news conference. She is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, her lawyers said. “I regret trusting the police,” Tomita’s mother said at the same news conference. The police have already admitted that they should have responded promptly to prevent the attack. “We take seriously the fact that we were unable to prevent the incident despite being asked for support,” an official of the police department said. “We are working as one to prevent similar incidents.”
Tomita states that she has has still not recovered from her physical injuries, but she was also left with significant mental scars.
Tomita, 23, still has problems breathing and eating, undergoes reconstructive surgery almost once every six months, and suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Tomita said she is suffering from dozens of physical injuries from the attack. “As I can barely see things on the left side, I did not notice dishes placed near my left hand when I had a dinner with my friends,” Tomita said in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun. But the most difficult thing she is dealing with is PTSD. “When I see a person holding a pen, even if it is a friend or my doctor, I become really nervous because I fear I may be stabbed,” she said. At one time on a train, she saw a man putting his hand in his pocket, and she became so worried that he was concealing a knife that she abruptly exited the train at the next stop. Every time she hears news about the knife attack, she flashes back to the day of the assault. “It is difficult to return to what life was like before the incident,” she said. Tomita also cannot go outside alone, needing the company of a friend or her mother. “Through the lawsuit, I want to find out why the officers did not take my daughter’s consultations seriously,” her mother said.
I guess I’m used to the American civil court system, but some hundred thousands of dollars in a case where a woman was almost murdered and had her life forever changed seems like a pittance.
Hopefully Tomita gets what she wants and deserves, but mostly one has to hope that the police take threats seriously now … though I’m not optimistic.