Singer Hikaru Utada on Monday commented for the first time on her mother's apparent suicide last week.
In a statement posted on her official website, Utada, 30, said: "I am proud to be the daughter of my mother. I have nothing but gratitude for everything she did for me."
Utada's mother, Keiko Fuji, a former well-known enka singer, apparently jumped to her death from a 13th-floor apartment in Tokyo last Thursday. According to police, Fuji, 62, wearing a T-shirt and short pants, was found lying on the grounds of her apartment building in Shinjuku Ward at around 7 a.m. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Police said Fuji lived in the apartment with a male friend in his 30s who was asleep at the time of the incident. Her slippers were found near the railing on the balcony, police said, but that no suicide note was found.
Utada said her mother had been suffering from mental illness for many years. "She is finally freed from her agony but ... the way she ended her life was beyond sad. I am suffering from a sense of remorse," Utada said.
Utada also described her mother as "impulsive like a child but with an innocent charm that attracted everyone's attention."
Although Fuji faced many dark periods in her life, Utada said she only remembers her mother laughing.
Utada's comments drew enormous interest from the public. As of 3 p.m., Utada's website could not be accessed due to heavy traffic.© Japan Today