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Gunma college making most of Noriko Sakai's enrolment

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Noriko Sakai, who was handed a suspended prison sentence for violating the Stimulants Control Law on Nov 18, has been admitted to a college in Gunma Prefecture to study welfare and nursing care. The college, which has been suffering financial difficulties, is overjoyed to have the former pop idol as their student.

The Social Work Department that the college has had a critical shortage in student enrollment over the last several years. According to a former instructor, delays in payment to faculty had been common.

Needless to say, Sakai has made a profound impact on prospective students’ interest in the college, and inquiries have increased dramatically. The college plans to take advantage of this opportunity in promoting its “E-learning” online study program, which Sakai signed up for, to students residing overseas.

Knowing that Sakai is particularly popular in China, the college plans to make online classes available in Chinese. A college source commented that the institution aims for the enrollment of 5,000 new students. The only requirement for the distance-learning program is a computer or mobile phone and attendance at the campus for one to two weeks a year. The tuition per student is 400,000 yen, and if the college can achieve its goal of 5,000 students, the revenue will easily make up for the financial losses incurred over the last several years.

Too convenient? Then again, sources in the entertainment industry hint that Sakai is preparing for a comeback in China. It remains to be seen who will benefit more.

© Japan Today

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17 Comments
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She pretends to attend classes. They pretend that she is learning something. The judge pretends that this is remorse or reform.

Everyone pretends and the only one paying the price is new students and society at large. Enjoying the show everyone?

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This is the way things work everywhere. It is enjoyable to see the curtain pulled back and glimpse the true inner workings of society/ organizations/ government once in a while.

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College? I thought it was a university. But either way, this must be one useless institution if the best attraction for new students they can come up with is a junkie. Perhaps they'd do even better if they could attract Polanski as a student? He's popular in France or so they say, Gunma university could offer online classes in French or something. Or even better, they might get Ichihashi as a new student. Then they could do online classes in divvy Japanese for all the airheads they'd attract.

Yes, this is such a stupid situation that sarcasm is the best I can do. It's not even worth getting angry over so I'm not going to bother insulting anyone.

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Marxism: We must blindly go forward and forget the past. -As a humanist this is sometimes the best policy.

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As long as you attend class in Japan you pass, I'm sure she's not paying for it either.

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Maybe she can take a course in grammar and get a job proofreading for the Shukan Post?

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This is the way things work everywhere

So true. And there's nothing to be angry or excited about. People can mend their ways and whether Noriko is going to graduate summa cum laude or not - who cares? I'm sure she'll learn a lot along the way. And I wish her and the college well!

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With all her money and talent she is going to work with homeless and sick people? LOL.

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I wish mother Nori-P and this internet school the best -this type of learning program is needed for mothers (and others) everywhere.

-get your online degree now and arm yourself with knowledge!

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Fact is is that this article would not even be printed IF she didn't get caught for drugs. You can't give her a second chance when what caused her to become popular was drugs in the first place.

I say she should be banned from all public events and made a poster figure for what happens if you take drugs... because at the moment if you take drugs in Japan you get caught, you cry, you say sorry, you put on a strong face and then you are popular!

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Fact is is that this article would not even be printed IF she didn't get caught for drugs. You can't give her a second chance when what caused her to become popular was drugs in the first place.

You aren't exactly in touch are you. The reason it was such big news, was because she was already a celebrity. While your assertion is correct, in that THIS article wouldn't have been printed if she hadn't been caught with drugs, its only because she wouldn't have done this had she not been caught. Instead she would be doing something else, and still being in the news regardless.

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gogogo

Fact is is that this article would not even be printed IF she didn't get caught for drugs. You can't give her a second chance when what caused her to become popular was drugs in the first place.

First, she was popular before the drug bust. The drug bust was a media feeding frenzy because she was popular. So, if she hadn't done drugs and decided to attend ANY university for ANY degree, this article would have been written. First, because she was popular and second, because older people (i.e. over 18) in Japan just don't start university.

On topic, I wonder if this school is paying her to attend or reduced her tuition in exchange for her very public presence; to improve their visibility. There are plenty of schools much closer to her home than this one.

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As an addiction treatment physician I am disturbed at the lack of understanding about the disease of addiction that some of the previous posts reflect. This poor woman faces a much more difficult path in life than most of us will experience. If she has simply abused stimulants a few times (not likely from what I have read) she may just be "saving face" and placating the legal establishment but if she has truly become addicted to stimulants she has developed an incurable disease that she will struggle with the rest of her life. If she can stay "sober" and set an example for other addicts who struggle in anonymity it does not matter if she is genuine or not. Her story can give others hope. Her enrollment in this school could benefit the school, it could benefit her and it could benefit others who are fighting this disease in the shadows. Addiction is a disease of relapse. I do not think that Japan has a very developed concept of addiction treatment and I hope that Noriko Sakai has had good medical care and will do well. I also hope that she will become the Betty Ford of addiction for Japan.

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Its a good field to study if your goal is to get your hands on some drugs!

Anyway, I hope this is the beginning of Japan relaxing their crazy attitude toward drug use and possession. Her and her husband were not accused of causing anybody any trouble. They were charged with possessing and using a substance that would seem to have had no negative impact even on themselves! Japan needs to go after real criminals, and no I am not talking about gaijin on bicycles either!

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borsch / Molenir: She wasn't a B grade celeb, she was popular in the 90's not now, done and washed up.

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So she wasn't really punished at all? Or if she was, didn't affect broad society's view of her? Also, I like the fact that they do "E-learning" - right up her alley.

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sick of hearing about this woman.

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