Noriko Sakai is a Japanese singer who was born in Fukuoka City. The beautiful singer has been consistently in the news in Japan recently, more so in Fukuoka City, her hometown which has been giving her almost daily coverage.
The story begins when her husband, self proclaimed surf pro Yūichi Takasō was arrested on 4 August 2009 by Tokyo police for possession of stimulant drugs. He reportedly told the police that Noriko herself (who was no longer living with him) was a drug user as well. A search of Sakai’s house produced .0008 of stimulant drugs. As a result a warrant was issued for her arrest based on Japan’s intensely strict drug possession laws.
The drama begins when she subsequently disappears after the issuance of the arrest, along with her 10 year old child. The rumor mill churned stories about her last being seen heading towards Aohkigahara Forest west of Tokyo at the base of Mount Fuji, the world’s second most popular suicide venue (next to the Golden Gate bridge) due to the density of the forest making it easy to get lost within. Speculations about her intent was discussed in major news media. A nation (or at least Fukuoka) was gripped in a real life search and rescue drama.
Contrary to the public’s expectations, she would later surrender herself to police four days later. Further investigations revealed drugs being found in a Chiba prefecture beach house which Sakai and her husband frequented.
Sakai also owns a clothing line called PP Rikorino which since the scandal ha sbeen pulled out of stores all over Japan. Toyota also pulled out a commercial featuring Ms. Sakai.
The drama is far from over as the Fukuoka public (and those in China and Taiwan, where she is also famous) remain glued to their TV sets as the drama further unfolds.