Oshio Manabu’s time in the court room is over and now he’s off to jail. Described these days in the J-media as a “former actor,” Oshio was at the No.1 petty bench of the Supreme Court yesterday to hear the decision on his appeal to the Supreme Court. Oshio was arrested in 2009 for his involvement in the drug-related death of Ginza bar hostess Tanaka Kaori at a luxury apartment in central Tokyo. He was originally arrested and tried for violations of the Narcotics Control Law and abandoning a person he was responsible for protecting, resulting in death. In the first ever trial of a celebrity under the recently introduced lay judge system at the Tokyo District Court, the most serious aspect of the charges – that Oshio’s failure to immediately call an ambulance when the woman lost consciousness led to her death – was dropped and a sentence of two and a half years was handed down. That sentence was upheld by the Tokyo High Court in April 2011.
Although he was caught bang to rights and his use of the synthetic drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, is not in doubt, Oshio has tried from the beginning to wriggle out of taking any responsibility in the case. Yesterday in a statement released through his defense lawyer he continued his defiance, saying, “The decision is extremely regrettable and unacceptable.” Apart from everything else, his arrest and trial led to divorce from actress Yada Akiko, who cited “incompatible values.”