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Japanese Musician Aska Arrested for Drug Possession

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Chage and Aska musical duo member denies charge

Police announced on Saturday that musician Aska (Shigeaki Miyazaki), who makes up the musical duo Chage and Aska with Chage (Shuji Shibata), has been arrested for drug possession. According to police, the 56-year-old Fukuoka native secretly possessed drugs in violation of Japan's drug control laws.

Police allegedly found drugs in a room of the singer's Minato ward apartment on April 6 and 12. Aska denies the charges against him as he is being held at a police station in Tokyo's Koto ward. Police are investigating details surrounding the case, including how the drugs were obtained.

Last summer, Chage and Aska delayed the "On Your Mark" reunion concerts out of concerns that Aska had a transient cerebral ischemic attack (TIA). Weekly publications later reported that Aska may have been using drugs, but the singer denied the claims. He commented about his illness on his official website and said he was "absolutely not doing illegal things."

Chage and Aska debuted in 1979, and last year marked their 35th anniversary. The duo had said, “We hope that this year will be one we can spend with our fans, who walked with us for an amazing 35 years.”

The duo had been on hiatus for four years before the delayed 2013 concerts, and it had been six years since their last live concert. Aska and Chage continued to pursue solo careers during the hiatus of their musical duo. Aska's latest album, Boku ni Dekiru Koto Ima Utau Series, was released in March 2013.

Chage and Aska's began to gain attention with their songs "Banari no Kawa" and "Morning Moon" in the 1980s. In 1992, the duo's television drama theme song "Say Yes" sold more than 2.7 million copies. Their song "Yah Yah Yah" set records two years later and gained the duo popularity across Japan and in several Asian countries.

Nearly two decades ago, Chage and Aska approached Studio Ghibli to make a music video for their "On Your Mark" song, and the result was the "On Your Mark" anime film short that studio founder Hayao Miyazaki personally directed. It played with Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart film when that feature opened in Japan in 1995. The duo's "Something There" song also became the ending theme song for the 1994 American Street Fighter film.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun, NHK (link 2) via Hachima Kikō

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