Actors and musician Pierre Taki, who voices yakuza Kyohei Hamura in Judgement, has been arrested for suspicion of illegal drug use.
According to the Mainichi News, investigators searched Taki’s car and Tokyo home based on tips they had received. Nippon.com reports that no cocaine was found. However, Taki was arrested last night, and a urine test turned up positive results for cocaine.
Taki has admitted to violating the country’s drug laws and using a small amount of cocaine. Investigators are examining his mobile phone to discern more about his alleged drug use.
Screenshot: 龍が如くスタジオ 公式
Sega has issued a statement, saying that as the truth was being confirmed it was going to stop selling the retailer and digital versions of Judgement. Sega apologised for any trouble that this causes, adding that it was considering what steps to take next.
If that were not enough (it’s not apparently!), Sega is also deleting tweets about Judgement.
— セガ公式アカウント (@SEGA_OFFICIAL) March 13, 2019
It's as yet unclear what this means for the western release of the game, which is due out in the UK in June.
Last year, actor Hiroki Narimiya was replaced in Yakuza 4 due to his own cocaine allegations.
Japan has a draconian view of illegal drugs. In 2014, when popstar Aska of the wildly popular duo Chage & Aska was arrested for possessing MDMA, Universal Music Japan stopped selling the group’s music. Moreover, Walt Disney Japan removed one of the group’s songs from a Blu-ray box set of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, as Studio Ghibli had animated the music video for the Chage & Aska song “On Your Mark.”
Besides Judgement, Taki also voices Olaf in the Japanese version of Frozen as well as the recently released Kingdom Hearts III. It will be interesting to see what Walt Disney Japan’s and Square Enix’s next moves are. Before becoming an actor, Taki was a musician, co-founding the popular synthpop group Denki Groove.