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Trial starts for Japanese star Noriko Sakai

Japanese pop star Noriko Sakai (pictured here in September) has pleaded guilty to illegal drugs charges and prosecutors demanded 18 months' jail in a trial that has sparked intense public interest and frenzied media coverage.

The trial of Noriko Sakai, the Japanese star who was arrested in August on drugs charges, began in Tokyo on Monday, with the pop star and actress pleading guilty to the possession and consumption of drugs.

Sakai was arrested in August for drug possession after her husband, Yuichi Takaso, was caught with stimulants a week earlier. When Takaso was arrested, Sakai disappeared for a week with her 10-year-old son, before eventually turning herself in at a Tokyo police station on Aug. 7.

Since her arrest, it has emerged that Sakai had been taking drugs for at least the last two years, and in his trial, which started last week, Takaso has claimed that his wife is a drug addict.

On Monday morning, more than 6,000 people gathered in Tokyo to try to get seats for the trial, despite the fact that only 20 people can fit in the courtroom. Most of those waiting said they were fans of the star.

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 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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