Stalker Finds Japanese Idol's Home From Reflections in Her Pupils

Japanese idol Ena Matsuoka was attacked outside her home by a crazed fan. After he was arrested, the stalker explained the complex way he'd located her: by zooming in on a photo and finding the reflection of a sign.

Matsuoka, 21, is a member of J-pop group Tenshi Tsukinukeni Yomi. On September 1, she was returning to her Tokyo home when a man came up behind her and covered her mouth with a piece of cloth, reports Asia One.

He dragged her away from her door and into a secluded area, where he fondled her body until she was able to escape. Matsuoka reported the incident to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and showed them facial bruising that the perpetrator caused.

Ena Matsuoka
Japanese singer Ena Matsuoka Ena Matsuoka / Twitter

On September 17, police arrested Hibiki Sato, 26, for the crime. He confessed immediately, telling them that he was a big fan of the singer.

Although her address was not public, Sato had pieced together her location from photographs Matsuoka posted on social media. From one, the reflection of a bus stop sign was visible in her eyes, which allowed him to find the general area of her home using Google Street View.

He then studied other photos posted by the star to to determine which apartment she lived in, matching her window dressings and the angle of light entering her room with other photographs.

On the day of the assault, Sato waited at the bus stop until he saw Matsuoka walk up to the building, then followed her into the lobby and struck after the door had closed behind them.

Sato was charged with indecent assault resulting in injury.

Shuichiro Hoshi, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, told Tokyo Reporter "The picture quality of smartphone cameras has become very fine, and a new risk has arisen in which private information is being leaked unexpectedly."

"In other words, the risk of a so-called 'digital stalker' is on the rise. As a result, countermeasures are required when posting to an SNS, such using photos that do not include location information or deliberately reducing the image quality," Hoshi added. "SNS" refers to social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Stalkers have become a significant problem for Japanese stars. In 2016, singer Mayu Tomita was stabbed multiple times by a fan upset that she had returned gifts that he had sent her. That incident prompted Japan's legislature, the National Diet, to toughen the country's anti-stalking laws, but fans still say the country is not doing enough to protect their celebrities.