A famous Japanese actress Saya Takagi has been handed a 1-year prison term and will remain suspended from acting for a period of three years.
The Hamamatsu native was arrested in Okinawa on 25 October, 2016, and charged with marijuana possession although she pleaded “not guilty.”
Takagi, 53, faced a disappointing legal battle which started barely three months after she lost an election for a seat into the Upper House last July. Her political ideology was inspired by a need to legalize pot for medical purposes.
However, she claims her arrest was a set-up, adding that the weed in her possession which is considered a contraband in Japan, was not hers to begin with.
Image: Saya Takagi
According to a report from The Japan Times, the ageing actress is a supporter for medical marijuana and “has promoted environmentally sustainable lifestyles.”
Takagi (real name Ikue Masudo) has retired from showbiz but her dramas are still shown on TV. Notable among her long list of popular films is the role she played as Kashiwagi Reiko in the Japanese drama “Okane ga Nai!” (1994).
The Asian beauty has seen her image tarnished since the marijuana scandal, and a large number of sponsors have deserted the TV icon.
A report from Nikkan Gendai confirmed that most DVDs containing films or shows featuring Takagi are being recalled right now in Japan.
At the height of Takagi’s persecution, a TV program in the country removed a theme song which was partly written by her.
The accused was sentenced to one year in prison, and given a three-year suspension from acting.
Her once enviable image nosedived from that of an angel to a witch since last Thursday’s court sentencing. In the eyes of most Japanese critics, Takagi is a woman of easy virtue because rumors have it that she was living with two men (lovers) who were also arrested.
Supporters say the negative news about their idol was aimed at staining the woman’s hard-earned reputation as a TV personality–for political and selfish reasons.
Newspaper reports admit the accusations against her may be mere hearsay but highlighted that details were sourced from the police.
This undated image shows Saya Takagi.
Prosecutors asked for a one-year prison sentence with suspension for the movie star who pleaded not guilty during her trial at the Naha District Court. Reports confirm she was caught with 55 grams of marijuana in her home.
Her indictment was supported by witness statements from Takagi’s housemates, including a 58-year-old man named Shigenari Moriyama.
According to the actress who runs a guesthouse on the island, Moriyama was the drug dealer. She admitted using it four to five times a month with his permission to ease pain after having a wisdom tooth removed, The Japan Times wrote. She has not been charged with marijuana use.