The Tokyo Reporter

Tokyo yakuza trial reveals the dark life of musician Aska

Last September, the Tokyo District Court handed Aska (center) a suspended 3-year prison sentence for possession and use of stimulant drugs

Last summer, Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested Masayoshi Yagyu, 64, and Takahiko Yasunari, 47, a member of the Sumiyoshi-kai organized crime group, for violating the Narcotics Control Law by selling 100 tablets of MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) to troubled musician Asaka for 500,000 yen.

The fourth hearing for Yasunari was held last Friday at the Tokyo District Court. Most interesting to evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (March 10) was the cross-examination of Yagyu, who paints a very dark existence for the 57-year-old performer.

According to a deposition from Yagyu, who in a previous trial was handed a three-year prison term, Yasunari served as the “underground manager” for the illicit activities of Aska, with whom the gang member has been acquainted for 18 years.

“When Aska engaged in an affair with a woman, (Yasunari) served as the dummy check-in, check-out boy at the hotel,” says a reporter covering the trial. “In addition, he used the female manager of a fuzoku joint to broker deals for women for Aska.”

The defendant also served as his drug dealer.

Aska got him to buy drugs from foreign dealers,” continues the reporter. “He was compensated between 300,000 and 500,000 yen each time.”

In September, the Tokyo District Court handed the singer, one half of the duo Chage and Aska, a suspended three-year prison sentence for possession and use of stimulant drugs.

Thus far, Yasunari has repeatedly denied the charges against him.

Nikkan Gendai believes that Aska, whose real name is Shigeaki Miyazaki, may appear as a witness in court for Yasunari’s fifth hearing, which is scheduled for March 19.

Over the course of the court proceedings for Aska, who was first arrested last May, he has not had much to say. That may change at the next hearing.

“With Yagyu having already testified that Yasunari got drugs for Aska from foreign dealers, he will not be able to evade (such an inquiry),” continues the reporter. ” It is a difficult situation.” (A.T.)

Source: “Furin kosaku ni fuzoku assen mo bakuro deguchi ga mienai ‘asuka saiban’ no yami,” Nikkan Gendai (March 10)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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