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Japanese actress freed on bail, faces drug charge

Japanese actress Noriko Sakai was released on bail Thursday, 41 days after she was taken into custody on drug allegations that triggered a media frenzy and concerns about growing drug use in Japan's entertainment business.


 Noriko Sakai

Thirty-eight-year-old Japanese pop singer and actress Noriko Sakai bites her lips during a news conference in Tokyo September 17, 2009. Sakai, who is indicted for drug possession and use, was released on bail on Thursday after her arrest on drug charges on August 8, 2009.

Police arrested Sakai, 38, in early August after she turned herself following a weeklong disappearance.

She was later formally charged with violating an anti-stimulant law and is to go on trial beginning October 26. The Tokyo District Court approved her release this week on 5 million yen ($55,000) bail, Tokyo police said.

Escorted by police, Sakai walked out of the police station as hundreds of tabloid photographers, reporters and fans waited.

"I'm truly sorry," she said, bowing deeply.

Sakai was initially seen as a distraught wife who went missing after her husband's arrest on drug charges, but later became a suspect herself. Her husband faces similar charges and will be tried separately.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
· Japanese pop singer Noriko Sakai missing
· Trial starts for Japanese star Noriko Sakai
· Sakai offers apology to fans after being released on bail
· Noriko Sakai tests positive for drug use
· Japanese pop singer Noriko Sakai missing
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