crime

Singer Aska arrested again for using stimulants

56 Comments

Police on Monday night arrested pop singer Aska for using stimulants. It was his second arrest in two years for illegal drug use.

In 2014, Aska, of the duo Chage and Aska, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for four years for possession and usage of the illegal stimulant drug methamphetamine.

Aska, 58, whose real name is Shigeaki Miyazaki, called police last Friday night and complained he was being secretly filmed, Fuji TV reported. When police arrived at his home in Tokyo's Meguro Ward, they found Aska incoherent and slurring his speech. Police said the singer voluntarily provided a urine sample that tested positive for methamphetamine.

More than 100 reporters and photographers swarmed outside Aska's house on Monday night, as he was taken to a police station at around 9 p.m.

After receiving his suspended sentence in 2014, Aska said he would never again use illegal drugs. At the time of his trial, he told the Tokyo District Court that he first started using the synthetic drug MDMA in England in 1994 and that he has been regularly using stimulants since 2010, Fuji TV reported. He said that he often worked late at night and early in the morning, writing songs, and that he started taking drugs to help him keep awake.

Aska was arrested in mid-May of 2014 at the apartment of a female acquaintance, Kasumi Tochinai, then 37. Police said they had been investigating drug use by Aska since January of that year. After arresting Aska, police searched his Tokyo apartment and found 90 MDMA pills, white powder believed that was ground MDMA, as well as a urine test kit.

Meanwhile, Kyodo News reported that Aska wrote on his blog Monday afternoon in response to media reports saying he may be arrested again for drug use, that the reports were "wrong" and he was very "surprised" by them. His fans responded with mixed reactions to his posts, with some saying, "That is a lie, isn't it?" and "We believe in you," while one wrote, "You betrayed us again."

© Japan Today

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56 Comments
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And did he harm anyone?

8 ( +17 / -9 )

So what? He'll be released and given a suspended sentence yet again, thus completely defeating the intent of a suspended sentence in the first place.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

"And did he harm anyone?"

I really appreciate the near absence of a druggie culture in Japan. We all are astounded by how safe Japan's streets are. But few of us really appreciate how they got that way and manage to stay that way. And i never taken this blissful state of affairs for granted.

I've been to places that have been lax toward narcotics and "compasionate" toward druggies, and downtowns or city centers are in a constant losing battle in this regard, where everyone pays some price or another.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

So what? He'll be released and given a suspended sentence yet again, thus completely defeating the intent of a suspended sentence in the first place.

I doubt that. He's had his strikes.

If he doesn't like being secretly filmed, he's gonna hate all the cams in the clink.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If taking illegal drugs results in calling the police then better to quit now!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I doubt that. He's had his strikes.

If it were you or me, I'd agree completely. But he's a celeb, and this is Japan

0 ( +8 / -8 )

MDMA is ecstasy, it contains meth, but is not meth.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Ah, so now we get to see how the infamous "suspended sentence" works in Japan. By law, he should now have to go to prison for the original sentence, plus time for the new offense, but it's Japan, after all. So it'll probably be a "special suspended sentence" or something, where he doesn't have to do the time, and where fans will wait outside with placards "We believe in you! Ganbarre!", etc.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

But he's a celeb, and this is Japan

Celeb or not this time he is facing hard time, and will probably do it as well, not just for not following the conditions of his previous conviction, but also any charges related to this detention and presumption of arrest.

For the very reason you state here, as a celeb, and because it's his 2nd detention and presumptive arrest, he has broken "public" trust and the hammer could fall pretty hard.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Loved his hit with Chage (Say Yes!) from many moons ago. Seems ASKA should learn to say no.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

2 years into the four. He is headed towards jail, but it will be a luxury jail with an onsen hot spring, huge tv's and game centers. Posh sushi restaurants, and nice clothes and slippers to wear. Rehab will be playing instruments, doing art, flower arranging and cooking classes.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He needs rehab, which is what he never got the first time. Real rehab, the kind Japan doesn't have because they don't admit there's an addiction issue here.

You just throw people in a jail and think that'll sort a junkie out, make a criminal go straight, but not at all.

Japan doesn't have a heroin issue or a cocaine issue, but alcoholism is rampant, other kinds of drug addiction, and people with these addictions are ignored and left to solve things on their own because Japan doesn't devote the resources to helping these people.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

So what,all he has to do is hold a press conference and use his celebrity power and convince everyone he is struggling with all the pressure of fame and needs help,bow deeply and say a few gomen nasai's and all is well again:-/

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If they give him another suspended sentence you know the system is messed up. He lied and did drugs while inside his suspended sentence. He needs to goto jail for 3-4 years.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is so out of proportion to the crime. Yes, these drugs are illegal in Japan. No 2 ways about it.

But the media's frenzied feeding is way over the top. And the populace lap it up, many believing another evil man has been stopped from harming us.

NHK 9 o'clock news led with this for ages and even returned to it after sports & weather for another lengthy blast. So much time was used that "Oh damn, we can't fit in that special report about the current steamrolling of the pension reform bill by Abe Inc that will affect millions and millions of citizens"

But at least we're safe for another night.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Safety of Japan is promised by strict controlls of guns, drugs and immigrations.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Naturalclowb123, " He needs rehab, which is what he never got the first time Real rehab, the kind Japan doesn't have because they don't admit there's an addiction issue here."

He's been in at least three different rehab facilities/programs. Which exist to treat addiction. Whether they were effective in his case is another matter but to say they don't exist is misleading.

"You just throw people in a jail and think that'll sort a junkie out, m"

You apparently missed the part where he got a suspended sentence and went directly into hospital.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Regarding ASKA, I really do not care what type of punishment he receives. He obviously has an addiction and a problem with substance abuse and I hope he can find a way to shake those demons. The reason I do not care about this is it will have zero impact on my day to day life nor any impact on the day to day lives of those I care about.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He needs rehab, which is what he never got the first time. Real rehab, the kind Japan doesn't have because they don't admit there's an addiction issue here.

I totally agree, and addiction treatment here is pretty much limited to alcohol addiction and with limited support things are difficult to say the least for those who are addicts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The media frenzy over this is so ridiculous. Every channel, every news program; the videos show reporters looking like piranhas being fed a lump of steak, i dont think i have seen that much excitement for footage in the 6 years i have lived here.

So what, he got done. Put him in jail (thats the price for reoffending while on a suspended sentence), and be done with it. Why is this getting more news than anything else right now? Why do people care so much about someone who obviously has an addiction problem?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

as expected.... I've been to many prisons and detention centers throughout Japan, and I can tell you that more than 70% of the people receiving suspended sentences end up committing the same "crime" na getting behind bars. An addicted behind bars. Can this country be any more clueless??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maye the court could make Aska a simple but effective choice, self-imposed professional secure Rehab, at his expense until Aska is confirmed clean of his methamphetamine addiction. All backed up with a independent spot testing regime to make sure he does not topple off the wagon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“You betrayed us again.”

All of my favorite music artists have used/still use drugs all the time and even make songs about drugs. Betrayed? hahaha

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is going to sound naive, but I think everyone else is being naive.

You know, Elvis had drug problems. And everyone around him did. And the Beatles, and really, can we just all agree that this drug thing is so prevalent among entertainers that it is not even surprising anymore? I mean, it could simply be classified as an occupational hazard. Rehab insurance should be included in their union contract.

Be that as it may, an astounding feature of modern drug addiction is that you don't get a lot of crazy behavior and overdoses. This Aska guy is freaking ancient by rock and roll standards, where you burn out rather than fade away. He is older than Elvis, Cobain. Older than Jimi and Janice put together. So we are living in this weird time where addiction seems to be pandemic, but overdosing is pretty rare. The rather obvious implication is that these people are getting drugs from doctors, not street corner pushers.

These people are not taking these drugs for recreation. They are taking them to do their work. To perform. That is the sick take away from this news.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He's not the sharpest tool in the box: calling the police and then "voluntarily" giving them a urine sample. Still, I think it's a waste of money locking these people up if they haven't harmed anyone else.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Isn't MDMA more commonly called Ecstasy? Meth is a different drug altogether, I believe.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lock people up for endangering people's lives (DUI, committing crimes to support their addiction) > YES!

Lock people up for smoking pot in their closed community, using stimulants at the privacy of their homes > NO!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So what? He'll be released and given a suspended sentence yet again

He got a suspended sentence two years ago. A suspended sentence means that the person is released, but if they get caught again during their sentence, they are imprisoned, for I believe the remainder of their sentence. He got three years suspended two years ago, meaning he'll be imprisoned for that charge, likely for a year (the remainder of his sentence), and that's ignoring the charges he'll get for the new charge.

MDMA is ecstasy, it contains meth, but is not meth.

MDMA doesn't contain any other drugs. It's a pure substance in and of itself. That said, it's unregulated, so people may mix MDMA pills with other chemicals such as meth, but that means the pill is MDMA and other. The MDMA itself is just MDMA.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He deserves life in prison if he gets caught a third time.

What kind of a role model is he to the young people, most of whom don't care who he is.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

MDMA (Molly/Ectasy) has long been taken to 'feel good'. No one takes meth (methamphetamine) to 'feel good'.

Either way, I really don't understand why this is such big news. First of all it is naive to think Japan doesn't have a drug problem. They do, just not of the type and scale of the US. Because it is more difficult to get 'real drugs' in Japan kids use things like glue and solvents, then moving on to meth and heroin. Second of all, who cares?!?! Aren't there real issues that Japan needs to know about? Why the news last night spent about 75% of the time on this story (and barely mentioned the special extension of the Diet, for instance) is the real problem in Japan...that's the drug that is destroying people's brains.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@ Phil "either way, I really don't understand why this is such big news."

Japan loves to name and shame, especially if your famous.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan loves to name and shame, especially if your famous.

You forgot about the public humiliating, excluding, bullying, stalking, finger pointing, feigning, and of course, blaming not only you but your whole family ("divorce your addicted husband or we can't accept your kid here anymore")...no wonder everybody in this place have a phobia of standing out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Meth is no joke, Aska should go overseas and get some proper help, 58 years old and doing that is really bad news. An old buddy of mine, when I first came to Japan years ago, fell into that and after being holed up in his 1k smoking it for a week, driving himself nuts, he eventually went to the Australian embassy to demand back the video tape they had been secretly filming of him masturbating .....and he wasn't even Aussie! He left Japan shortly after that and I don't know what became of him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Genius. Get lashed and then call the satsu. Meth is a rubbish drug anyway. He is 58 and should probabaly think of giving up by now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He needs rehab, real rehab, the kind Japan doesn't have .. because Japan doesn't devote the resources to helping these people.

As people continue to give you thumbs up, I need to ask on what personal or factual basis do you have to make such a statement? There aren't "rehabs" as you would envision in other countries. But there are treatment programs for addiction which exist in mental institutions. I know the thought of going to a mental institution sounds scary. It sure did for me many, many years ago. But the one I stayed in for a month had an entire floor dedicated to helping addicts from alcoholism to drugs and others. Both health insurance and unemployment insurance help cover the costs, too. So there are both resources and places being devoted to helping addiction.

@Educator60 is about the only one who has provided factual information. And thank you for that.

I agree with you @naturalclown123 that Aska needs help. But there is help available both at the treatment programs in mental institutions and even in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. I was asked not to divert the discussion into alcohol. And I will respect that. But addictions are not separate in their recovery. Nearly every reputable "rehab" and "anonymous" group use the same steps to recovery. And just my personal experience / opinion, if Aska really wants to recover, he will do much better seeking help from those who meet weekly, apart from what the government can provide - Real addicts who have lived a lifetime in recovery themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You know, Elvis had drug problems. And everyone around him did. And the Beatles, and really, can we just all agree that this drug thing is so prevalent among entertainers that it is not even surprising anymore?

Sorry but you are using a different measure than what is used here. Entertainers and the lot, like him, are held to a different public standard, hence all the BS "rules" and crap that many have to deal with to even get the chance to be "famous".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So stupid. It is a victimless crime, leave the guy alone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I can't believe some of the comments here... I've accepted that most posters thing cannabis is cool and are quite happy to smoke themselves into a stupor, but come on this is ecstasy, a dangerous 'rave' drug that is banned in the UK as well. It's linked to deaths caused by, for example the heart rate speeding up and the body temperature increasing to lethal levels. It isn't safe, it isn't a harmless recreational drug. It's banned for a reason.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I'm pretty sure this guy has a drug problem, don't you think? There seems to be a lot of celebrities on the toke in Japan. It's quite strange considering Japan is generally a drug-free society. I know you can pretty much get anything you want, but these celebrities seem to fail to keep it under the cuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FREE ASKA

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh, who cares. Grow up, Japan. You're such an immature country... in so many ways. Keep enjoying your little mascots and AKB teens...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thunder. This is not MDMA its meth. and yes there are some instances of death from MDMA (or its side effects) but that is not why it is banned. I would hazard a guess that a handful of folks die from the side effects of drugs like meth or MDMA as compared to tobacco or alcohol. Legalise it all I say, although this bloke is clearly a few brain cells short getting high and then paranoid and then calling the satsu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wakarimasen, according to the article it is not meth but MDMA that they found in his apartment, although for some reason they say he had meth in his urine.

Their chemical structure is pretty similar, I once heard.

Not that it matters as he will be charged with using "stimulant drugs" 覚醒剤 Kakuseizai, which is a Japanese umbrella expression probably covering MDMA, meth, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've never done drugs so I'm admittedly completely uneducated about the good / bad effects, but I do wonder this - what kind of loser is driven to use drugs in the first place? Sex life not good enough? Can't drink alcohol? I just don't see what the motivation to use drugs is.

What's more, then you end up getting arrested after being a moron and calling the police in on yourself, and ... then you're an even bigger loser than you already were!!

At least this guy could write a tune, apparently.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oh, who cares. Grow up, Japan. You're such an immature country... in so many ways. Keep enjoying your little mascots and AKB teens...

Urging Japan to grow up... you mean taking drugs is the mature thing to do? Smoke weed, take MDMA/Ecstacy tabs, snort coke, take meth... THAT kind of growing up?

How can people support his (or anyone else's) drug abuse?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It’s interesting to ponder how much of Japan’s relative street safety, compared to the States, might be attributive to its intolerance of drug culture. It’s easy to say that merely using drugs is a victimless crime, and that the danger to others resides with their criminal commerce. But I can attest, from my early days when I was not a stranger to drugs, that some obliterated my conscience, which is quite commandeering otherwise.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

what kind of loser is driven to use drugs in the first place? Sex life not good enough? Can't drink alcohol? I just don't see what the motivation to use drugs is.

The same motivation as to drink alcohol - it feels good and is fun.

Alcohol doesn't match everyone's personality. I very rarely drink, because I don't like how it makes me feel.

I enjoyed other illicit substances when I was a younger man, well before I came to Japan though.

Everything is fine in moderation - and if you don't get caught.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

.... In 2014, Aska, of the duo Chage and Aska, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for four years for possession and usage of the illegal stimulant drug methamphetamine. ... Aska, 58, ... called police last Friday night and complained he was being secretly filmed ... they found Aska incoherent and slurring his speech. Police said the singer voluntarily provided a urine sample that tested positive for methamphetamine. ...

http://news.ftv.com.tw/NewsContent.aspx?ntype=class&sno=2016B28I19M1

Looks like he's well on his way.

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=meth+before+and+after

(Google images "meth before and after")

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He won't do any prison time! He is a celebrity in Japan and the law will bend his way. Suspended sentence from before won't change anything because the legal system here allows the rich and famous to get away with most if not all criminal acts! Let's all come back to this topic after judgement is passed out by the court for him to pay a fine and do more suspended sentences! Or he might even be released on technicalities and walk free! Then I'll say " told you so " !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do his entitled fans think he "betrayed them" by shooting up?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why do his entitled fans think he "betrayed them" by shooting up?

Now he can't stay up late to write music. Betrayal!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When contemplating leniency for those into the drug culture, reflect upon the consequences levied upon the rest of society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Should have taken him to hospital....not jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hicoway: "It’s interesting to ponder how much of Japan’s relative street safety, compared to the States, might be attributive to its intolerance of drug culture."

BS, plain and simple. They tolerate drugs far less in Indonesia than they do in Japan -- would you consider Indonesia safer than Japan? Methinks not. It's more about poverty and standard of living when it comes to violence, as well as issues like difference of religion, mix of cultures, etc. Now, if you want to argue that drug use might reflect poverty levels in countries like the US, that might be a theory, but again, drug use is next to nil in Indonesia and poverty means a lot more than it does in the US.

So, no... it is not at all interesting to ponder what you said unless you are willing to ignore the fact that it is not at all the reason for what you call relative street safety.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Say yes, I did it again and sorry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As many indicated here... the problem is not only with the users... there is a problem with those who for their profit introduce, induce and sell such drugs to those who are weak and with money such drugs that they know are harmful and also illegal. No different than many drug companies and even the tobacco companies.

The police going after the user only adds to the media hype and public outcry which does not even try to resolve and help correct the problem.

I am saddened by the lethargic public, the lopsided legal system and the affected users, who are often taken advantage of by the pushers. So it also goes with illegal gambling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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