Aska Pleads Guilty To Drugs

Shigeaki Miyazaki, better known as Aska of the Japanese pop duo Chage & Aska, pleaded guilty Aug. 28 in Tokyo District Court to charges of repeatedly using stimulant drugs.

Prosecutors have demanded three years in prison for the fallen star, and sentencing is scheduled Sept. 12. Miyazaki’s plea covers a number of drug-related felonies.

“I am very sorry for betraying my fans and anyone concerned,” he said to the judge. Local media report that Miyazaki “slurred his words” as he apologized and attempted to explain his behavior.

“It may take time for me to return to being a decent human being, but I will battle my addiction under a doctor’s care.” Since being released on bail last month, it is believed that Miyazaki has been attending drug treatment sessions.

The singer-songwriter’s career is up in the air and he has said that he has “no idea” if and when he will return to performing.

According to his own admission, he turned to drugs to alleviate the pressure he felt in coming up with new material. Since around 2000 he had been using prescription sleeping and “anti-sleeping” medication to get by, and in recent years the medication was having less and less effect, so he turned to methamphetamine and MDMA, according to police.

His wife apparently suspected as much and demanded he undergo a urine test once a week starting in May of last year. He secretly continued using drugs and carefully timed his intake so as to ensure his tests came out negative.

At the same time, he was carrying on a longtime affair with another woman, who was arrested at the same time as Miyazaki and pleaded not guilty in a separate trial that started last month.

Miyazaki has defended the woman by saying that she was never a drug user. One indication that Aska may have a future is that 2,646 people lined up in the rain for the chance at 21 seats in the courtroom to watch the first day of the trial.