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August 8, 2009

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Arrest warrant out for missing Japanese actress

JAPANESE police issued an arrest warrant for missing actress Noriko Sakai for drug possession, while her 10-year-old son was found safe in Tokyo, media reports said yesterday.

Sakai has been missing since her husband was arrested earlier this week for alleged drug possession, police said on Thursday.

Her disappearance has triggered intense focus by the media in Japan and other Asian countries. She was hugely popular in Asia during the 1990s because of her songs and TV dramas.

Her son had also been missing, but was found safe in Tokyo on Thursday evening, according to media reports.

Sakai's mother-in-law asked Tokyo Metropolitan Police to search for the 38-year-old actress and her son on Tuesday, a day after Sakai's husband, Yuichi Takaso, 41, was arrested, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman declined to be named, citing department policy, and also refused to give details about the husband's case.

Kyodo News agency reported that police stopped Takaso while he was walking in downtown Tokyo and found drugs when they searched him.

Masahisa Aizawa, president of Sakai's management agency, Sun Music, said on Tuesday that Sakai was a responsible person and urged her not to go through the difficult time by herself.

Police said Sakai's mobile phone signal was last detected late on Tuesday in Yamanashi, about 100 kilometers west of Tokyo, according to Kyodo.


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