Good girl goes bad


Japan is reeling in shock over the arrest of  popular actress Noriko Sakai on drugs charges.  Noriko has long held a wholesome image as a respectable wife and mother, and to the general public her arrest – after a frenzied week-long manhunt – carries the same shock value as say, Angeline Jolie being suddenly hauled in for pet abuse.   The arrest comes hot on the heels of the news that another Japanese entertainer, a young singer named Manabu Oshio, has been implicated in the death of a woman by overdose.  Drug use is really not tolerated in Japan, and the penalties are extremely harsh.  I think it’s safe to say that the careers of both of these entertainers have been utterly ruined.

5 comments on “Good girl goes bad

  1. Karen says:

    I doubt anyone in the US would be all that shocked at ANY celebrity’s misbehaviour. It seems to go on all the time. Our press has seen to it that the public no longer has any illusions about anything.

  2. Jeni says:

    Yeah, what Karen said. Plus, celebs in the US rarely suffer any significant punishments. It is rare they go to jail or get any punishment more than a slap on the wrist. Celebs arrested for drug use usually plea out and get community service or sent to rehab–Robert Downey Jr. was arrested several times and given leniency for his drug abuse until the judge lost patience and finally shipped him off to prison for a year or two. RDJ has since cleaned up his act and is back on top with the Iron Man movies and others. I would say that neither of the celebs in Japan will get their careers back.
    I know drug use is not to be condoned but it is an addiction not much different than smoking–it just has the potential to kill you much faster. In Noriko’s case, was the drug in question cocaine?
    I don’t think treating drug use/abuse as a crime is really the way to go–treatment is the better option.

  3. Miko says:

    In Noriko’s case the drug was methamphetamine (Japanese street name “shabu”) which is highly addictive, and to my mind is a rather low-class drug associated with the Yakuza who control the drug trade in Japan. I am pretty shocked that a successful actress and mother of a young child would dabble with such a dangerous drug, especially one who had so much to lose in terms of career and public image. I’d always assumed – and been grateful for – the fact that Japan is a relatively drug-free society, but with these two high-profile cases I’m not so sure anymore.

    By the way, when her husband was first arrested and she ran off and disappeared, initially a lot of us assumed that she’d killed herself from the shame of being married to a drug addict. That’s how great the stigma is here.

    Is methamphetamine used in the US too? I don’t know an awful lot about it, but apparently it has become a HUGE social problem in NZ.

  4. Karen says:

    Crystal meth is a huge problem in the US. It’s easy to make in the kitchen, the ingredients are common. Methamphetamine is available with a prescription for obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and narcolepsy, but crystal meth is a street drug, made in illegal labs by chemically altering over-the-counter drugs. Making crystal meth usually involves reducing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, found in cold and allergy medicine. Also, a lot of the vapors given off in making it are flammable, and occasionally crystal meth labs blow up. A huge shock for the neighbors no doubt.

    Heroin has been a problem here too although its use is down a bit the last few years I think. Of all the illegal substances, heroin is one of the most addictive.

  5. Miko says:

    I can say for certain that heroin is not an issue in Japan (perhaps they just don’t like needles?), and I hope it never becomes one. In Europe I was shocked to the core to encounter young people shooting up in broad daylight in beautifully kept parks, and I was also shocked to learn that in Australia (but not NZ) some public lavs have special receptacles for used needles. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that heroin has been superseded by much less-messier forms of drugs, such as crystal meth.

    Drug dealers are evil!

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