entertainment

Ai Iijima died of pneumonia; no foul play, say police

40 Comments

Former television personality Ai Iijima died of pneumonia, police said Wednesday, ruling out foul play in her death. The Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office examined the case after a police autopsy failed to determine the cause of death. Iijima, 36, was found dead in her apartment in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Dec 24.

She is believed to have died around a week before her body was found by an acquaintance.

Iijima gained popularity in the 1990s as a variety show host and porn star. Her autobiographical novel ''Platonic Sex,'' published in 2000, became a bestseller and was made into a movie as well as a television drama.

In 2006, Iijima said her health was not good due to a kidney disease and other problems. She announced her retirement in March of 2007, saying, ''It's impossible to survive (in the entertainment industry) if I can't achieve my goal and dream, and I can't keep on trying.''

Meanwhile, Watanabe Entertainment will hold a memorial service for Iijima at the Tokyo Prince Hotel on March 1.

Watanabe Entertainment, which managed Iijima until her retirement from showbiz, said that celebrities Hideyuki Nakayama, Midori Utsumi, Shinobu Otake, Mariko Kaga, Shinsuke Shimada, Ken Shimura, Kazuo Tokumitsu and others will attend.

They also said that the service will start at 11 a.m. for family, friends and colleagues of Iijima, and that the general public can offer flowers and donations from 1 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention.

© News reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


40 Comments
Login to comment

That's sad. If you think you might have pneumonia get to a doctor. It really can kill you quickly and you get so lethargic that you won't get out of the house if you wait too long. Nasty stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its a common cause of death for those with an immune system deficiency.What a blow to all the conspiracy theorists who posted with such enthusiasm on news of her untimely death i hope they manage to survive their disappointment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like the police suspected foul play or drugs and did not know what to do when they could not find anything at all. At least this is good in a way - her name is cleared and people can properly mourn her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

May she RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With proceeds going to the Japan foundation for Aids prevention and the fact that she died of pneumonia I have to wonder if she herself suffered from AIDS or HIV. Sad case, it sounds like she didn't die a happy woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

-or it could be the Avian Bird Flu? You play you pay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like the police suspected foul play or drugs and did not know what to do when they could not find anything at all. At least this is good in a way - her name is cleared and people can properly mourn her.

NPA offering flowery tribute to dead body. May lively soul rest in peace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

definitely AIDS

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i really like hers "Platonic Sex" movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like the police suspected foul play or drugs and did not know what to do when they could not find anything at all.

They knew exactly what to do: They referred the case to the Tokyo Medical Examiner’s Office, which then found a cause of death. Seems like the system worked just fine here.

Sad way to go though. Pneumonia isn't pleasant. Been there, done that. So I can't imagine her last hours being comfortable ones. What bothers me the most about this is that she died alone, there apparently being no one concerned enough about her to have visited her in at least a week. Considering she had health problems serious enough to lead to pneumonia, you'd think someone would have been keeping an eye on her. What's even sadder is that she didn't feel compelled to call anyone for help.

We can speculate all day about the whys and wherefores, but in the end, we'll never really know. Hope Iijima finds something better wherever she's gone to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't pneumonia a common cause of death for people with HIV/AIDS? She wasn't one to shy away from honesty so IF she had HIV/AIDS, aren't her handlers doing the public a disservice by ommitting that information? This could be a HUGE educational opportunity for the public to be informed about HIV/AIDS. Simple pneumonia at 36 years old sounds bizarre.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Simple pneumonia at 36 years old sounds bizarre.

It might sound bizarre but it is very possible. Unchecked, pneumonia can kill anyone of any age. If she had had a live-in companion, I dare say that person would have carted her off to a hospital within a few days of her catching pneumonia - when she hit the stage of high fever, no intake of fluids, and difficult breathing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pneumonia sucks pretty hard, I had it two times, but it's relatively easily treated. I pity her not for dying from this disease, I pity her for dying alone, with nobody checking on her for week(s). RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

definitely AIDS

I second that. It seemed to take a long time to report on her 'unknown' cause of death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't help but think there's a connection from "Platonic Sex".. that is, sex without emotional attachment.. and not having anyone emotionally attached to have been there when the poor girl died alone and wasn't found until a week later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She died all speculation is just that. I hope she is at rest, may her soul have found peace, joy, and happiness. Lots of people die alone every year its just life it is what it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So much fame for nothing. Where were her friends? Or, colleagues? Better to have a poor for friend than a rich.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pneumonia can kill anyone. You don't have to have HIV/AIDS in order for it to hasten your demise. There also is no indication that Ai had HIV or AIDS. As she had a history of recent health problems her immune system would understandably be compromised thus making her more susceptible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a definite linkage between HIV/AIDS and pneumonia, however, drawing such conclusions is a bit off color. Remember the saying about "not speaking ill of the dead"? Anyway, having personally had pneumonia myself (many years ago as the result of exhaustion and exposure to the elements), I can tell you that it would not be a nice way to go. The sensation I experienced was of slow suffication as the fluid builts up in your lungs. Also getting over pneumonia is not fun. Once they put the drugs in, you starting coughing up flem and mucus by the bucket load. Anyway, hope everybody enjoys their meals after reading this :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This poor girl had a sad life. However she died it's too bad she died alone. No one found her for a week! I know plenty of people who would have been glad to be with her including me. She says at the end of her book "Papa, Mama, I'm sorry for being this kind of daughter." She needed real love and kindness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From wikipedia so it must be true:

Later the same month, she participated in a United Nations program in Tokyo on AIDS awareness in the week leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1, 2004.

She wrote extensively about a World Aids Day event in Tochigi Prefecture on December 6. On March 3 2007, Sports Nippon reported that Ai Iijima was suffering from hay fever, pyelitis (ascending urinary tract infection that has reached the pyelum (pelvis) of the kidney), cystitis and acute backache. She had written in her blog that she had kidney problems and inflammation of the urinary tract and bladder.

Ongoing health problems, pneumonia being a common cause of death for people with AIDS, and significant participation in the Aids awareness community leads me to one conclusion.

It is a severe disappointment that the media doesn't use this to raise awareness about the dangers of HIV. Did all of you know that Japan is the only developed country in the world in which the number of HIV people infected every year is still growing? (ie: more people got infected this year compared to last year etc.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't the general conclusion in Japan that she DID have HIV ?? Just that she got it from drug use,not sex...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Justice was served.

She lived immorally (porn) out of greed for money, and illegally from her drug use.

She made her own bed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She lived immorally (porn) out of greed for money, and illegally from her drug use. She made her own bed.

May you never do anything wrong. Why does the phrase, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," come to mind?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice and sympathetic Husker. She was great to watch on TV and she had guts. RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She was a coward. But what was she supposed to do? If she came out and was truthful many powerful unscrupulous people may have lost money and became angry (at her).

It's all about making $$$.

Lesson learned: Money is not everything and brings you little friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If she had HIV, I wonder how many people (geinojin) she had unprotected with before she realized she was infected. One of the most common ways to die from HIV is by pneumonia, like Freddie Mercury.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very sad story. I wonder why she didn't stay permanently in hospital having such mortal desease? She wasn't a child, she had to realise all the seriousness of her situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pneumonia in a 36-year-old doesn't ring any particular warning bells, although one wonders why she was not in hospital or being monitored by a doctor.

However, I can understand why people here are questioning whether Ms Iijima might have been HIV+ in light of the fact that pneumonia is a known complication of HIV/AIDS. And one also wonders about the ability/willingness of Japanese hospitals to accommodate patients who are HIV+.

However, even if she was HIV+, I can understand that her next of kin might not want this publicised.

Be careful out there, chaps and chapesses - HIV is still a reality, even in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Justice was served. She lived immorally (porn) out of greed for money, and illegally from her drug use.

Umm... Virtually anyone who holds a job of any sort is working out of greed for money. Are you sugggesting that they (we) all deserve to die painfully and alone from pneumonia to appease some perverted sense of, ahem, "Justice." Do the world a favor: Stay waaaaay the hell out of politics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why all of you MUST conclude it was HIV?... If you have depression and tried to kill yourself catching a pneumonia in winter is fatal...

If she had the guts that most people say, she would have told the world that she was HIV, especially when you participate in events like that. I don´t thin she had it though, because it seems that she was very incisive and wrote things as they were...

Kidney diseases are complicated, you must take lots of medicine that will weaken your inmune system too, I had calculus renalis once and the meds were so strong, the anti-biotic was awful that I couldn't eat and in winter when you are weak you can catch anything...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought I was bad, but someone people here have really overactive minds. She worked with HIV charities, so she must have AIDS or HIV? That is a pretty bizarre line of thought, especially since I doubt anyone on these boards would know about her bedroom habits in detail.

"She was a coward. But what was she supposed to do? If she came out and was truthful many powerful unscrupulous people may have lost money and became angry (at her).

It's all about making $$$".

She was a coward about what, may I ask? And was supposed to tell what truth?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

May you let her rest in peace.when you are young you do something foolish..she has just chosen the easy path which God forbid us to go.. but in her death, she found that peace shes longing for.. God bless your soul ,AICHAN. Living a life like yours is not easy ,sleep in heavenly peace with the angels !!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JapanHusker: Nice of you to offer your moral majority view. There's a special place reserved for "moral" people like you who think they can sit in judgement of the rest of us. Have some compassion, that Ai Iijima worked in porn is irrelavent, she was a human being and sadly she died alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice one usaexpat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My condolences to Ms. Iijima's family and friends. No more need to be said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During the time of her book promotion she dodged the Aids/Hiv question when asked directly. For what purpose is it to be a coward of the disease you champion?

This young woman died of HIV complications.. What do you save by not telling the truth? I do not agree with this philosophy of pushing this under the rug.

The pneumonia is true -however they are not telling the whole story here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JoinceRojo, It's an issue because it concerns public health. Japanese usage of protection is very low. Hence, if Ai Iijima was HIV positive, its a matter of public health to screen her former partners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badsey,

One can champion a cause without becoming a poster-child for that cause. There are a million reasons a person might not want it to be known that they have HIV/AIDS. Posters like JapanHusker being just one of them. Another might be that she may not have wanted pity from those around her. Who knows? Besides, we don't even know if she had AIDS, so it's pointless to argue based on an unknown. I'll admit, it certainly sounds like complications associated with AIDS may have been a factor in her death from pneumonia. But we don't know. And quite frankly, it's none of our business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it would be fair to assume that when people like Ijima appear they will will always be badgered by certain reporters about certain questions for certain reasons (e.g. gossip, muck raking, more sensational news to get more readers etc).

At an event to promote her book, which most people would assume is to be a exciting thing, she would obviously be unhappy when some reporter comes along and asks questions that are completely irrelevant. I think most people would agree.

"This young woman died of HIV complications".

Show us the proof please or it would be a good idea to retract your statement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites