Takaso faces two years for drugs

by Setsuko Kamiya

Prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a two-year prison term for actress Noriko Sakai’s husband Yuichi Takaso, who has admitted possessing and using illegal stimulants and implicated her as well.

At the Tokyo District Court, where people lined up for tickets to the court session, the 41-year-old self-proclaimed pro surfer, wearing a gray pin-striped suit and sporting darker than usual hair, apologized and pleaded guilty for violating the stimulants control law.

“I promise this won’t happen again,” he said during his one-day trial.

Takaso’s attorneys asked for a suspended term after citing his deep remorse and efforts at rehabilitation. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 12.

During Wednesday’s trial session, Takaso testified that he used to buy the drug about once every two weeks from an Iranian drug dealer.

“I didn’t want people to know that Noriko was using them, so I made the purchase from the dealer, who didn’t know much” about me, he said.

Takaso told authorities he inhaled the drug in a bathroom at a park in Minato Ward on Aug. 2 but told the court he had actually taken it at home.

Takaso said he lied to cover up the fact that his wife was also on drugs.

After Takaso was arrested, Sakai disappeared for nearly a week before turning herself in and was arrested for possession. Earlier reports said she went into hiding for a week to ensure she could pass a urine test. Her trial is scheduled to start Monday.

Takaso, who said he began using stimulants when he was around 20, testified that some of the drugs he had were acquired at an outdoor music event on Amami Island in Kagoshima Prefecture in July, when the couple and their son went to view a solar eclipse.

The indictment said Takaso inhaled stimulants in Tokyo on Aug. 2. Prosecutors said he was found with 0.817 grams of stimulants in Shibuya Ward on Aug. 3 and arrested on the spot.

Takaso also pleaded guilty to possessing and using stimulants at a house in Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture.