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Actress Sawajiri admits to using MDMA, other illegal drugs

Actress Erika Sawajiri, arrested Saturday following the alleged discovery of the synthetic drug MDMA at her Tokyo home, has admitted to using the drug "for some time" and to taking other types of illegal narcotics as well, according to investigative sources.
The sources said the Metropolitan Police Department received a tip about a month ago that 33-year-old Sawajiri was in possession of an illicit drug different from MDMA.
Sawajiri was turned over to prosecutors Sunday after spending the night at a police station in Koto Ward. Dozens of reporters and photographers had gathered from early morning to catch a glimpse of the actress, but she was seated in the curtained-off backseat of a vehicle when it left the police station.
Sawajiri, who has appeared in a number of films and TV dramas, has admitted to illegal drug possession after police found 0.09 gram of MDMA at her home in Meguro Ward.
Police are also analyzing a urine sample they obtained from Sawajiri, who left home Friday night for a nightclub in the Shibuya district, the sources said.
The MPD raided her home as soon as she returned home Saturday morning. Police found two white capsules in a plastic bag inside a jewelry box, they said. Her mother, who lives with the actress, was at home at the time, they said, adding Sawajiri was cooperative during the search.
Sawajiri was awarded the best newcomer award at the Japan Academy Film Prize for her role as an ethnic Korean girl living in Japan in "Pacchigi!" (We Shall Overcome Someday), directed by Kazuyuki Izutsu and released in January 2005.
She is also known in other parts of Asia for "1 Litre of Tears," a 2005 TV drama in which she played the lead role of a teenage girl diagnosed with the intractable disease spinocerebellar degeneration.
Most recently, she had a role in "No Longer Human," a film based on the life of Osamu Dazai, one of Japan's most renowned novelists, which was directed by Mika Ninagawa and released this fall.
She was scheduled to play the role of 16th-century Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga's wife in public broadcaster NHK's historical drama series "Kirin ga Kuru" in 2020.


© KYODO
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