This week’s featured article


Singer-songwriter Noriyuki Makihara, who has been arrested on suspicion of illegal drug possession, has confessed he began using drugs again sometime after his 1999 conviction for a similar case, it was learned Saturday.

The Metropolitan Police Department has not officially disclosed whether Makihara, 50, has admitted to allegations of possessing stimulants and psychoactive substances.

Investigative sources, however, say the artist has generally admitted to the allegations.

The department will also continue to look into whether he used the illicit drugs.

Makihara was arrested by the Tokyo police Thursday for allegedly possessing a stimulant and a liquid containing isobutyl nitrite, which is known as “rush,” a drug distributed by the U.S. company Pac West Distributing, in spring 2018 at the condominium where was living at the time.

In August 1999, Makihara was arrested on suspicion of stimulant possession. During his trial, Makihara promised not to use any illegal drugs again. In December that year, he was given an 18-month sentence suspended for three years.

According to the sources, Makihara started using illegal drugs again some time after the ruling. He has said he can’t remember when he fell back into the habit again, the sources said.

The singer-songwriter had been living at the condominium with the former head of his management office when police found the drugs in 2018.

First published in The Japan Times on Feb. 8

Warm up

One-minute chat about scandals.


Collect words related to drugs, e.g., illegal, health, gang, stimulant, etc.

New words

1) possession: the act of owning, e.g., “He was in possession of the will when his grandmother died.”

2) allegation: a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, e.g., “She made allegations of corruption against her bosses.”

3) illicit: forbidden by laws, rules or custom, e.g., “The queen and her servant were involved in an illicit affair.”

Guess the headline

Noriyuki Makihara allegedly ad_ _ _s to taking drugs again after his 1999 co_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


1) What happened to Noriyuki Makihara?

2) What sentence was he given in 1999?

3) When did he restart using drugs again?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What do you think about the story?

2) Can you think of similar news stories?

3) What do you think is needed to deter people from using drugs?




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