Actor held over fatal drug case

Kyodo News

Police on Monday arrested actor-singer Manabu Oshio on suspicion of giving the synthetic drug MDMA to a woman who died in August while they were together in a Tokyo apartment, investigative sources said.

The Metropolitan Police Department is also investigating the 31-year-old Oshio, who was given a suspended prison sentence last month for using MDMA, on suspicion of failing to take sufficient action to help Kaori Tanaka, a 30-year-old bar employee who died.

Oshio allegedly violated the Narcotics Drug Control Law by giving Tanaka the drug, commonly known as Ecstasy, at the apartment in the posh Roppongi Hills complex on Aug. 2.

He was arrested after components of MDMA were found in his hair samples, the sources said.

The finding allegedly backs police suspicions that Oshio acquired the drug for himself and used it frequently.

During his first trial at the Tokyo District Court, Oshio said he got the drug from Tanaka. But police suspect he obtained it from someone else and gave it to her at the apartment so they could use it together.

The police on Monday also arrested Yusuke Izumida, a 31-year-old acquaintance of Oshio who runs an Internet shopping business, for allegedly delivering the drug to Oshio, and Ryohei Endo, the performer’s 28-year-old former manager, on suspicion of destroying evidence by throwing away Tanaka’s cell phone.

According to the police, Tanaka fell ill and her condition took a turn for the worse at around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 after taking the drug with Oshio. Oshio told Endo over the phone that she had not regained consciousness, and the manager arrived at around 7:40 p.m. An emergency call was made at 9:19 p.m.

By the time paramedics arrived and confirmed her death at the scene at 9:27 p.m., Oshio had gone to another unit in the apartment building.