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Undercover investigation led to Pierre Taki's arrest; TV programs, concerts impacted

Pierre Taki is seen being transported by car in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on March 13, 2019. (Mainichi/Naoaki Hasegawa)

TOKYO -- An undercover investigation was conducted from around last autumn targeting musician and actor Pierre Taki, who was arrested on March 12 for allegedly using cocaine in violation of the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Act, according to those close to the investigation.

Sources say the Narcotics Control Department of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare began its investigation after it obtained information that Taki, whose real name is Masanori Taki, had been using narcotic drugs.

After suspicions grew due to the investigation, the department searched the 51-year-old man's house in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward on the evening of March 12. Taki was arrested on the spot as his urine sample tested positive for cocaine.

Though the department could not find cocaine on the premises, a rolled-up Korean paper currency allegedly used for insufflation was found. Investigators suspect Taki used the drug at home.

Sources involved in TV programs, films and concerts featuring Taki struggled to respond to the case on March 13. Taki is a member of the Japanese techno-pop group Denki Groove. The band had just started its 30th anniversary tour and performed in Fukuoka in southwestern Japan on March 2. However, their concerts in Tokyo scheduled for March 15 and 16 were cancelled.

Sony Music Labels Inc. announced it would stop shipments and recall goods including CDs and video products in relation to Taki as well as Denki Groove.

Taki also appears in public broadcaster NHK's drama series "Idaten." Although NHK plans to continue its broadcast, the Public Relations Department is considering how to deal with the scenes in which the actor appears.

(Japanese original by Ikuko Ando, City News Department)

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