As the entertainment industry reels from the arrest of SMAP’s Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, journalists debated whether Tokyo police acted properly and slammed the mass media for failing to cover the incident with a more critical eye.
Shuntaro Torigoe, former editor in chief of Sunday Mainichi weekly magazine, said it was “unreasonable” for the police to arrest the 34-year-old pop idol for “public indecency for being naked in a deserted park at 3 a.m.”
When someone who is drunk is making a lot of noise, police usually try to protect the person, he said, adding that Kusanagi was arrested simply because he is a celebrity and that police probably suspected he was on drugs.
“But this is wrong,” Torigoe said. “It’s pathetic when I see the mass media fueling such a brouhaha based on a misjudgment by the police” and companies scrambling to cancel commercials featuring him, he said.
A drug test carried out on the star came up negative.
The Akasaka police, which arrested Kusanagi and searched his home for a half hour anyway, said it has been getting nonstop calls from Kusanagi fans, mostly women, protesting their actions.
A senior officer at the station said they arrested Kusanagi on the spot “because stripping naked was a clear-cut criminal act.”
“It was not an act that left any room for doubt,” he said.
Akihiro Otani, another well-known journalist, said he believes the star’s arrest was “unavoidable” to ensure his safety and prevent him from causing trouble again.
“If a police officer had just scolded him, he might have made a lot of noise again after the officer left,” Otani said of the 3 a.m. incident.
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