TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Saturday arrested a former gang boss in the attempted extortion of actress Akiko Nishina, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 23).
On a number of time between February of 2012 and May of 2015, Kazuo Kasaoka, a 73-year-old resident of Kobe, and two other persons allegedly attempted to extort 46 million yen in cash from Nishina, 64, by falsely claiming the funds were repayment of a debt incurred by her former husband, actor Hiroki Matsukata.
Kasaoka denies the allegations. “I was doing a collection for an acquaintance,” the suspect was quoted by the Machida Police Station.
Regarding the request for funds by the suspects, Nishina described the claim as a “one-sided false accusation,” police said, according to Fuji News Network (Sept. 23).
Kasaoka had been dealing with financial difficulties stemming from a corporate bankruptcy, police said, who added that it is likely he turned to extortion to compensate for reduced income.
“Battles Without Honor and Humanity”
Nishina made her debut as an actress in 1972. She married Matsukata in 1979. They divorced in 2013.
In January, Matsukata died of brain lymphoma at the age of 74. He is widely known for his appearances in director Kinji Fukasaku’s landmark series “Jingi Naki Tatakai” (Battles Without Honor and Humanity).