Oshio takes stand, says he tried to save woman

by Setsuko Kamiya

Actor Manabu Oshio, taking the stand in his own defense at the Tokyo District Court, testified Monday that he tried to save the life of the woman who died of a drug overdose in his presence.

Oshio said he performed cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Kaori Tanaka’s overdose symptoms worsened and her heart stopped beating after the two had sex Aug. 2, 2009, in a luxury apartment in Tokyo’s Roppongi district.

He told the court he took a course on the first-aid measures as a sixth-grader in the United States, where he said he lived from age 4 to 13.

“I regret not being able to save her life, but I want to say that I didn’t abandon her,” Oshio said.

During the sixth session of his trial, Oshio also said he didn’t want to be the one who called for an ambulance even after Tanaka apparently died.

Instead he asked his manager to do so out of fear he would be found with the illegal drug, and he went to a different part of the apartment complex.

“All I had in mind was that I didn’t want to be found with the illegal drug,” he said.

On the consequences of the incident, he said, “I lost my family, my job, the trust of society and Ms. Tanaka.”

Oshio is charged with obtaining and giving the synthetic drug MDMA to Tanaka and for abandonment resulting in death after she died of an overdose while he did not call for medical help.

Prosecutors repeatedly quizzed Oshio on Monday about cell phone e-mail messages between him and Tanaka, saying they suggest he was prepared to offer the MDMA to her upon her arrival at the apartment.

But Oshio said Tanaka brought her own supply with her, and she did not use the drugs that he had with him.

Oshio admitted taking the drug commonly known as Ecstasy a few times before the night Tanaka died. But he also claimed he never knew using the drug could be fatal.

A doctor specializing in critical care testified Friday that Tanaka could have been saved if Oshio had called an ambulance when her condition began to show signs of overdose.

But an expert for the defense said Monday the autopsy results indicate she may have died so fast that nothing could have been done.