A man under arrest for stabbing a pop idol repeatedly has told police that the attack in western Tokyo was sparked when the victim rejected a gift from him, investigative sources said Sunday. Tomohiro Iwazaki, a 27-year-old man, stabbed Mayu Tomita, a 20-year-old college student, more than 20 times including in the neck, chest, arms and back, shortly after 5 pm Saturday in Koganei. The assault came shortly before Tomita was due to take the stage to perform with other women in an idol event. Japanese pop group AKB48 cancels fan events after saw-wielding man injures two idols and employee Iwazaki, who was arrested at the site, told police, “I sent a gift (to Tomita) but it was returned. I asked her why but she gave an evasive answer, so I became mad and stabbed her numerous times.” Tomita has been appearing in pop idol shows and television programmes for children, and the police suspect Iwazaki is a fan of hers. Idol Mayu Tomita repeatedly stabbed at Tokyo fan event https://t.co/xDewn708A0 pic.twitter.com/VKJpGF4GUE — Tokyo Reporter (@tokyoreporter) May 21, 2016 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> According to the police, the suspect intercepted Tomita in hopes of talking to her at JR Musashi-Koganei Station before the assault occurred. Tomita, who remains in hospital in a critical condition, had earlier visited a police station near her home in Musashino seeking advice after Iwazaki had harassed her online via social networking sites such as Twitter. She mentioned Iwazaki by name when speaking to police. Japan pop idol shaves head and makes tearful YouTube apology after sex scandal Learning from Tomita on Thursday that she planned to appear at an idol event on Saturday, officers at the Musashino police station asked the police in Koganei to respond if they receive an emergency call on the matter. The police will now scrutinise the suspect’s messages to confirm his link with the attack while also assessing whether the police handled the incident appropriately.