Manabu Oshio arrested for drugs, linked to woman’s death

On Monday, Avex announced that it had dismissed actor/musician Manabu Oshio (31) for “violating his contract,” but being let go by his agency is currently the least of his worries. Oshio was arrested on the same day for illegal drug use and is currently under investigation for his connection to the death of a woman.

At close to 9:30pm on Sunday night, the Azabu police department received a call from a man reporting that he had discovered a body. A woman, in her 30s, was found dead and naked in a bed at the Roppongi Hills Residences B, a high-class apartment building. It was determined that she had been dead for about 10 hours. She showed no external wounds, and the specific cause of death is expected to be identified within a couple weeks.

Oshio was apparently in the room with the woman at one point. He called his manager, saying that he felt something had gone wrong, but he left the apartment after that. Surveillance cameras showed that Oshio and the woman had entered the building separately that night.

On Monday afternoon, police called Oshio in for questioning. While listening to his story, they noticed that his hands were shaking and his face was pale. Suspecting drug poisoning, they gave him a urine test, which turned up positive for MDMA (also known as ecstasy). As a result, he was placed under arrest for violation of drug control laws. In his defense, Oshio claimed that he had taken some pills he received from a friend, not knowing it was an illegal substance.

Police are still investigating the case, searching Oshio’s home and trying to identify the woman’s cause of death and the source of Oshio’s drugs.

The good-looking Oshio began acting in 1998, but was absent from the screen after leaving his agency Ken-on in 2005 until he signed with Avex in May 2008. He picked up a role in Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo,” as well as Hideo Sakaki’s “Yuukai Rhapsody” and Eiji Uchida’s “Dakara Oretachi wa, Asa wo Matteita.” Coixet’s film already screened at Cannes in May, but has not yet opened in Japan. The other two movies are scheduled to open in December and February, respectively. However, Oshio’s scandal threatens to affect the releases of all three pictures.

Oshio is also the leader of rock band LIV, which debuted in 2002. The group went inactive in 2007, but last August he declared that he was reviving the band with the addition of two members. They were reportedly working on material in preparation for a new album later this year.

Aside from his acting and singing careers, Oshio is also known for marrying actress Akiko Yada (30) in 2006. Yada gave birth to a son in November 2007. But in light of this incident, it is being revealed that Oshio and Yada have been living separately for several months, with little communication between them. Yada, who achieved her own return to acting earlier this year, now seems likely to move for an official divorce.

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