Songwriter Sentenced

Ryoji Sonoda, who has written tunes for Japanese boy band SMAP as well as at least one hit for Korean superstar BoA, was given a suspended 18-month prison sentence on May 22 by the Tokyo District Court.

Sonoda was arrested in Tokyo April 22 for possession of “stimulant drugs,” a term that usually indicates methamphetamine.

Police said that they found Sonoda “using” the drug at a hotel on the date of the arrest.

The songwriter admitted he had been buying drugs over the Internet for more than a year and at the start of his trial pleaded guilty to all the charges.

The judge handed down a suspended sentence because it was Sonoda’s first arrest and he expressed remorse.