Aska admits to using illegal stimulants

Kyodo

Singer-songwriter Aska, half of the well-known musical duo Chage and Aska, has admitted using illegal stimulants, investigative sources said Friday, almost a week after he was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drugs.

Aska, 56, could receive a fresh arrest warrant over the drugs as early as next week because traces were found in his hair and urine, the sources said.

Aska, whose real name is Shigeaki Miyazaki, denied possessing the drugs after he was arrested last Saturday.

After debuting in 1979, Aska climbed to fame with his partner Chage in Japan and regionally with hit after hit through the ’80s and ’90s, including “Say Yes” and “Yah Yah Yah,” before continuing as a solo artist.

Investigators said Aska on Thursday started owning up to the drug use and possession accusations. According to the investigators, he said he obtained the drugs from gangsters and thought they were just stimulants used to perk up one’s energy level.

The investigators believe Aska was using the drugs on a daily basis in light of the evidence, which includes about 90 tablets of what is believed to be Ecstasy from Aska’s home in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, the sources said.

Aska and his female acquaintance, Kasumi Tochinai, were arrested last weekend in relation to small amounts of stimulants found in her Tokyo apartment in April. Tochinai, 37, has denied the allegation.

After suspending their activities in 2009, Chage and Aska reunited in January last year only to withdraw from the spotlight in October after a weekly magazine reported Aska had allegedly used drugs, which he denied.