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Cops don’t buy rocker’s flimsy assault excuse

Date Posted: 2005-01-13

An aging J-rock star is busted by Japanese cops who didn’t buy into his excuse for climbing into bed with a friend’s 18-year-old daughter.

Masao Shiroma, a 1970’s rock legend with a past conviction for indecent assault, is accused of slipping into the Okinawa home of friend in the middle of the night, then climbing into the daughter’s bed. The girl immediately cried out to her mother after Shiroma’s entry.

His reason for visiting the girl’s bed? “I knew her mom and was only going over to giver her some pig feet.” Police acknowledge they found pig’s feet in the microwave at the girl’s home, but still arrested him. Officers say they aren’t sure whether the 55-year-old ex-pop star was ready to engage in lecherous behavior, or if he was simply a bit off.

“He’s done some pretty strange things,” one Okinawa resident told a mainland Japanese newspaper, citing an incident last summer when Shiroma crashed the grand opening of an electronic appliance store. The man says Shiroma proclaimed himself a star, then wanted to test all the equipment in the store.

The aging rocker spent the day in the store, lying in the corridor and signing autographs. Officials say he’d done a similar thing several weeks earlier in yet another appliance store.

Shiroma’s behavior is frustrating local Okinawa musicians, who see him as ruining the island’s reputation. Just having the incident talked about in the same breath as Okinawa music is awful,” said one local musician. “He might have been famous a long time ago, but now he is nothing.”

The man who discovered many of Japan’s stars, Masatoshi Sakai, says he feels sorry for Shiroma. “Once you’ve lost your star status,” he says, “It is difficult to get it back. When you make your debut, you start at zero. If you’ve already made it big once and fallen away, trying to get it back means starting from below zero.” Sakai says it takes ten times the energy and effort to resurrect a fallen career.

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