Actress Erika Sawajiri, who made her first public appearance in four years, is the talk of the town.
She appeared on YouTube on April 21, 2012, as part of an appearance by Katsuhito Matsuura, the former CEO and chairman of Avex, Inc.
Sawajiri communicated directly with Matsuura over the phone, showing a degree of “intimacy” that goes beyond her position as a celebrity and the head of her agency.
The video has been viewed more than 2.2 million times (as of the 28th), and what was most surprising was the number of positive comments expressing hope for her comeback.
Speaking of Sawajiri, she was arrested for violation of the Narcotics Control Law and suspended her entertainment activities in February 2008 after being sentenced to one year and six months in prison with a three-year suspended sentence. His suspended sentence was lifted in February of this year, and rumors of his “resumption of entertainment activities” were heard here and there.
In fact, Friday and other media outlets took recent photos of Sawajiri in June, and people around her were disturbed. In the video, Mr. Matsuura said that he “hasn’t made any decisions about how the office thinks” about her return, but this appearance was clearly an “observation balloon” to see how the public would react. In that sense, it was a great success.
It is said that he had to pay 500 million yen or 1 billion yen in penalties and other damages for his arrest, including rescheduling of the drama. Therefore, it is thought that his return to work is being rushed,
“I don’t think he is in that much of a hurry,” said a source at one of the firms.
“Well, I don’t think he is in that much of a hurry to get back to work,” said a source at an office.
Well, as you can see from the video, this is Ms. Sawajiri’s “Matsuura-san’s case,” you know. It’s not like the staff can do anything about it. However, she has received many offers, including for movies, stage productions, and online dramas.
Still, Ms. Sawajiri seems to be aiming for the “best comeback as an actress,” and she is carefully scrutinizing the offers. She has caused so much trouble for the agency that she is probably not in a position to choose her work, but she can afford to do so because Matsuura-san is taking good care of her.
If a large amount of penalty money had been paid, it would seem that they would work regardless of how much they had to pay. Perhaps the attitude of being easygoing is one of Erika’s charms.
PHOTO： Takayuki Ogawauchi