The last few days have not been very kind to Japan. A taifun (or, if you prefer, typhoon) hit Hyogo prefecture. At least 12 people are dead and more are missing. One man and his car were swept into a river by flooding. This is hard on the heels of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that shook Tokyo. Fortunately no one was killed in the quake and if there were any injuries they must have been quite minor.
In a totally bizarre story, popular actor/idol singer Sakai Noriko turned herself into police after spending a few days on the lam after her husband was arrested for drug possession. This has been all over the news for a week now. Last Monday, Sakai's husband Takaso Yuichi, a self-proclaimed professional surfer, informed on his wife after police busted him with some kind of stimulants stashed in his underwear. So Sakai bought some underwear of her own in Shinjuku then took off for Yamanashi prefecture. At one point, her whereabouts seemed to be near the infamous Aokigahara Sea of Trees, a popular suicide spot, there was some speculation she was going to end it all over the incident. Apparently, she came to her senses and now blames her husband for enticing her into a life of illicit drug use, despite her squeaky-clean public image-- she's even been involved in anti-drug campaigns.
Her recording label canceled the "greatest hits" collection CD they planned to release in September. Wow, in America, they would've moved the release date up to August in order to cash in and Penthouse magazine would have interns calling her talent agency around the clock. Poor Noriko... she's going to be raked over the coals to an amount that would seem excessive even to celebrity-media-saturated Americans.
Celebrities on drugs. That's the current controversy this August in Japan. The police have vowed to crack down on the entertainment industry. Not only has Sakai Noriko fallen, but actor Oshio Manabu recently found himself in handcuffs after a Roppongi hostess died of an Ecstasy overdose in his apartment. Adding to his woes, his wife dumped him in the immediate aftermath of his arrest. Still, I wouldn't trade any of these people for your Lindsay Lohans or Mischa Bartons. Just keep 'em, please.
Crazy times here.