Japanese Pop Icon Faces Lengthy Jail Sentence Over Drug Use

By McCarton Ackerman 09/02/14

Aska has been embroiled in a drug and sex scandal that has captured the nation.

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One of the biggest pop stars in Japan could be spending the next three years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of illegal drug use.

Shigeaki Mizayaki, otherwise known as Aska in the long-running duo Chage and Aska, admitted to using stimulant substances including MDMA. He admitted to first using stimulants back in 2010 after his sleeping and “anti-sleeping” pills proved to no longer be effective.

The 56-year-old eventually became addicted to those substances and bought 100 MDMA pills “out of curiosity” last March. Police found many of those pills on him when he was arrested last May.

“I’m terribly sorry for betraying my fans and anyone concerned,” said Mizayaki last week in a Tokyo courtroom. “The whole time I was using stimulant drugs, I was turning a blind eye to which drug I was using. It may take me some time to return to being a decent human being, but I will battle my addiction under a doctor’s care.”

He had been receiving weekly urine tests as of May 2013 under the urging of his suspicious wife, but reportedly continued to use drugs and timed the tests so they would come back negative.

The case has been attracting national interest in Japan partially due to the sex scandal attached to it, resulting in over 2,600 people lining up in Hibiya Park to put their names in for a lottery for just 21 gallery seats.

Mizayaki reportedly cheated on his wife with a mistress, 37-year-old Kasumi Tochinai, who was arrested with him on suspicion of using illegal drugs. Prosecutors claimed that Mizayaki used illegal stimulants while having sex with her and that Tochinai’s urine test came back positive for drugs. But despite this, she has continued to maintain her innocence.

Sentencing for Mizayaki is schedule to take place next month.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.