Photo/IllutrationMasanori Taki, stage name Pierre Taki, is seen in a car leaving the Narcotics Control Department of the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau under the health ministry in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward before dawn on March 13 after being arrested. (Naoko Kawamura)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Showbiz personality Masanori Taki, known for a string of roles in television dramas, was arrested on suspicion of cocaine use, police said March 13.

Taki, 51, whose stage name is Pierre Taki, was arrested the previous evening by the Narcotics Control Department of the health ministry's Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau after his urine tested positive for cocaine use.

Police said the actor and musician admitted to having used cocaine.

Taki, a resident of Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, used a small amount of cocaine in Tokyo or its surrounding areas around March 12, the department said.

Authorities searched Taki's home shortly after 6 p.m. that day and asked him to submit to a urine test voluntarily based on information brought by sources about his drug use.

No cocaine was found at his home. However, a Korean banknote rolled up in a manner to snort the substance was found.

The department confiscated his mobile phone as part of efforts to determine when and where Taki used cocaine as well as how he obtained the drug.

Taki had been questioned at the Narcotics Control Department in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward since the evening of March 12, and was transferred by car to the Metropolitan Police Department before dawn on March 13. He was seen wearing a beige coat and glasses sitting in the backseat with his eyes closed.

Taki was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1967, and made his debut as part of the techno-pop duo “Denki Groove” with Takkyu Ishino in 1989. The duo released the hit song “Shangri-La” in 1997.

In 2013, he played a supporting role in the hit Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) morning drama "Ama-chan," and followed up in 2015 with a leading role in the NHK dramatization of the crime novel “Six Four,” which was awarded the top prize at an art festival organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

He also plays the role of a Japanese “tabi” footwear shop owner who invented tabi worn by the main character during marathon races in NHK’s historical TV drama series “Idaten” (God of fast runner).

He also wrote “Gekkan Onigashima” (monthly Demon Island), a series of columns for The Asahi Shimbun, from April 2017 to March 2018.

Taki is featured in the movie “Mah-jongg Horoki 2020” (Mah-jongg wanderer’s journal 2020), which had a planned April 5 release with the plot set in 2020, at a time when the Tokyo Olympic Games have been canceled. He plays a key role as former chairman of the Tokyo Organizing Committee. An official of the film's distributor, Toei Co., said, “We are discussing what to do with various business partners.”