crime

Marijuana possession charge dropped against former HKT48 member

27 Comments

A former member of the all-female idol group HKT48, an affiliate group of AKB48, who was arrested by Fukuoka police for alleged marijuana possession, was released this week after the charge against her was dropped.

Airi Taniguchi, 21, was released from custody by the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office on Tuesday, Sankei Shimbun reported, adding that no reason was given.

Taniguchi was arrested at her family’s home on April 16 after 0.025 grams of dried cannabis were found inside a bag. She was charged with violating the Cannabis Control Law. Taniguchi told police that the marijuana belonged to a former boyfriend who was arrested in January for assault and drug possession. She said he had left the cannabis in the bag.

Taniguchi made her debut with HKT48 while she was a student in October 2011. She was promoted to a regular member in March 2012 but left the idol group in August that same year.

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27 Comments
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I can think of two reasons. Number one she's a celebrity, and most importantly number two it's such a ridiculously small amount that the police were embarrassed to have started a case in the first place

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Good.

Time to legalize it.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

 0.025 grams of dried cannabis were found inside a bag.

Bet the cops had to wheel out the electron microscope for that bust.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Why'd they check her so meticulously to begin with?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

moonbloomToday 08:16 am JSTWhy'd they check her so meticulously to begin with?

ex ratted her out?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I can think of two reasons. Number one she's a celebrity, and most importantly number two it's such a ridiculously small amount that the police were embarrassed to have started a case in the first place

Or number three - it wasn’t hers. You know, like it said in the very article you’re commenting on:

Taniguchi told police that the marijuana belonged to a former boyfriend who was arrested in January for assault and drug possession. She said he had left the cannabis in the bag.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Taniguchi was arrested at her family’s home on April 16 after 0.025 grams of dried cannabis were found inside a bag

Where was the bag and why was it searched? The use of the passive voice here is very confusing

8 ( +9 / -1 )

She was really guilty for dating some stupid scumbag. just to be clear he's a sumbag, not because he smoked weed, but because he didn't step in to defend her for his guilt.

Yes...and marijuana should be legalized. There are tons of other legal substances that are much more toxic than marijuana. Legalize, tax heavily, and regulate. This may actually be a solution for the impending economic decline!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Tax heavily? So it would be cheeper on the black market? Doesn't seem like a good idea. Regulate tax on par with grog and smokes. She her family must have been mortified by this sledge hammer response by authorities to some crumbs in the bottom corner of a bag.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So she joined the group when she was about 12 (!) and left at 13. And now, more than half a lifetime later, she gets involved with a guy who may have been into drugs (they say arrested, not convicted) and a literally-microscopic amount of something was "found" (how?) in her bag, and this is worthy of national news attention?

This is looking like a classic case of "criticism of the LDP is mounting; quick, find a celebrity to bust for drugs! ...no one available? What about that girl who was in HKT as a child?"

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Charges dropped. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even some spores of weed on your hair is considered possession.

You can get 2 years prison for that 0.025g of weed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The exes story probably didn't add up. If she was required to take a drug test and came up negative then that would have surely proved her story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's not mine. Just holding it for a friend.

That never worked for me with my parent.s

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@wobot

Taniguchi was arrested at her family’s home on April 16 after 0.025 grams of dried cannabis were found inside a bag.

It's a translation. The passive voice is pervasive in the Japanese language. That causes a lot of confusion for native speakers, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

0.025 grams is literally a speck of dust that can be carried by the wind. There are probably millions of people unwittingly "in possession" of that much marijuana.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

and this is worthy of national news attention?

One reason why it's worthy of news attention is as yet another illustration of how heavy-handed the Japanese drug laws are.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

0.025 grams of dried cannabis? did they find it with a microscope?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

0.025 grams of dried cannabis? did they find it with a microscope?

That definitely would not be enough for a lab test.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

HKT48 was a 5 month long stint she did as a 13 year old back in 2012, yet it defines who she is at age 21.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@wobot

Taniguchi was arrested at her family’s home on April 16 after 0.025 grams of dried cannabis were found inside a bag.

It's a translation. The passive voice is pervasive in the Japanese language. That causes a lot of confusion for native speakers, too.

I know that, but that doesn't explain how the police found it at all. The police aren't allowed to submit Japanese people to an investigation without valid grounds (it's a clause in the constitution) so sometime before:

the police were either informed she was in possession of cannabis, or its presence was indicated in some way. I think the former because the amount is so small it would be impossible to notice otherwise (no smell etc).

assuming the police were informed (by someone else, I assume), they decided it was worth following up on to get a conviction so it must have seemed a credible story.

before they arrested her, they either searched her house and found it, or found the bag at another location and she was somehow determined to be the owner.

All I can find about this instance is from gossip sites, but the news reports from she was arrested noted she had paraphernalia in other places in her room (which is not illegal):

https://www.tokyoreporter.com/crime/ex-hkt48-member-airi-taniguchi-accused-of-possessing-marijuana/

I reckon her boyfriend got busted and grassed her in, but she did actually smoke it herself. She got lucky that she didn't have more if that's the case

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It has very little to do with being a celebrity. She had the perfect scapegoat in the ex-boyfriend. Her story is plausible and there was no evidence to prove it belonged to her or if she was using it. Case closed!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why'd they check her so meticulously to begin with?

wanted to check her out

HKT48 was a 5 month long stint she did as a 13 year old back in 2012, yet it defines who she is at age 21.

Idol-ism is the peak of their lives

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Airi Taniguchi, 21, was released from custody by the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office on Tuesday, Sankei Shimbun reported, adding that no reason was given.

Allow me to give you a reason :

A former member of the all-female idol group HKT48, an affiliate group of AKB48

Does this clear things up?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Name and shame again. 0.25 of grass! Got nothing better to do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police aren't allowed to submit Japanese people to an investigation without valid grounds (it's a clause in the constitution)

Well, the police most definitely will submit you to an investigation if they feel they want or need to. You may or may not be able to argue that in court, but this is something that happens after the fact, not at the point of arrest/investigation.

the police were either informed she was in possession of cannabis, or its presence was indicated in some way.

Or something else. It's a reductionist argument to pretend there are only these two options.

I think the former because the amount is so small it would be impossible to notice otherwise (no smell etc).

Of course you're welcome to think what you want, but the argument you provided in support of it is pretty shakey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I looked it up. Some more information on what happened from the Japanese media:

署によると、今年1月に監禁と傷害の疑いで逮捕した交際相手宅の捜索で大麻を発見。谷口容疑者にも所持の疑いが持たれ、家族が住んでいる福岡市内のマンション一室の捜索で乾燥大麻が見つかった。

According to the [police office], marijuana was found in a search of her partner's [aka boyfriend's] house in January of this year regarding his arrest for unlawful confinement and injury. Taniguchi was also arrested at this time under suspicion of possession, an a subsequent search her family's Fukuoka-city apartment resulted in the dried marijuana being found in a room.

Link: https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200418-00000054-kyodonews-soci

So to put all the speculation to rest, no one turned her in. The police arrested her boyfriend, and she got caught up in the sweep, so they searched her house too, where they found an old baggie with a few flakes of leftover weed in it - which she claimed, and according to the linked article, the police believed, and let her go.

No conspiracies here. No special treatment for being an idol. No evil friends stabbing her in the back. Just what appears from the surface to maybe not be the best choice in boyfriends - though without knowing the specifics of his arrest, even that can't be concluded.

Nothing to see here. Carry on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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