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Japan entertainment news: Noriyuki Makihara released on bail

TOKYO (TR) – Following his indictment for allegedly possessing illegal drugs this week, singer Noriyuki Makihara was released on bail on Friday, reports NHK (Mar. 6).

Outside the Tokyo Wangan Police Station at 7:00 p.m., Makihara, attired in a dark suit, said, “I deeply apologize to concerned parties and my fans for the great inconvenience and concern [I have caused]. It was truly inexcusable.”

Makihara, 50, then held a deep bow for 10 seconds. Prior to his release, he posted bail of 5 million yen.

On April 11, 2018, officers found 0.083 grams of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, at the then residence of Makihara in the Kaigan area of Minato Ward.

Police later concluded that the contraband belongs to Makihara. Police also retrieved a glass smoking pipe from the residence.

Last month, police found 3.5 milliliters of the sex-enhancement drug Rush inside his current residence in Shibuya Ward.

Noriyuki Makihara was released on bail on Friday (Twitter)

After his arrest earlier this month, Makihara denied being a regular user. “I haven’t been taking [illegal] drugs for a long time,” the singer said. Upon his indictment, it was not revealed whether he admitted to the allegations.

An analysis of the urine of Makihara gave a negative result for stimulant drugs, police said previously.

Boy band SMAP

In 1999, the Tokyo District Court handed Makihara an 18-month prison term, suspended for three years for the same crime.

While a student at Aoyama Gakuin University in 1990, Makihara made his debut. The following year, the popularity of his hit single “Always” propelled him to the New Artist Award from the Japan Record Academy.

Makihara is also known for writing “The Only One Flower in the World,” which was recorded by boy band SMAP in 2003. The track sold nearly 2.6 million copies, placing it third all-time on the Oricon singles chart.