The trial of former actor and singer Oshio Manabu (32) continues this week. Already charged and tried for drug offenses, he is currently on trial for his involvement in the death of 30-year-old Ginza hostess Tanaka Kaori. In August of last year, the two took MDMA (ecstasy) at the luxury Roppongi Hills apartment of a friend, but when Tanaka lost consciousness Oshio called his manager rather than the police or an ambulance. Against his manager’s advice Oshio repeatedly refused to call for an ambulance, and it was 3 hours before medical assistance was finally requested, by which time Tanaka was beyond help.
Oshio’s former girlfriends and manager were among the witnesses called to the stand as prosecutors built a case around an image of Oshio as pressuring others to use drugs. This flies in the face of his own claims of innocence and that he used but did not supply drugs. Izumida Yusuke (32), a friend of Oshio who has been given a 1-year prison sentence in a related case, said he supplied the MDMA pills that are believed to have killed Tanaka just two days before her death. In text messages between the two, the drugs were referred to as “amino acids.” The trial at the Tokyo District Court is the first celebrity case to be held under the recently introduced lay judge system.