Actor Kentaro Ito arrested for hit-and-run accident

Tokyo Love Story 2020, starring Shizuka Ishibashi (far left) and Kentaro Ito (left).
Tokyo Love Story 2020, starring Shizuka Ishibashi (left) and Kentaro Ito (right).PHOTO: VIU

Popular Japanese actor Kentaro Ito, star of the drama Tokyo Love Story 2020, was arrested yesterday for a hit-and-run accident that left two people injured.

The 23-year-old is alleged to have been behind the wheel of a car that struck a motorcycle at an intersection near the Japan National Stadium just before 6pm on Wednesday.

In the accident in Tokyo's Shibuya ward, two motorcycle riders were injured - a 26-year-old man had light injuries to his arm, while a 27-year-old woman broke her leg.

The Japanese media cited sources from the Harajuku Police Station as saying that Ito has confessed to the allegations.

"It is not wrong that the vehicle I was driving had struck a motorcycle, injuring people," he was quoted as saying. "It is also not wrong that I fled the scene after the accident."

After driving away from the scene, Ito was chased down by another driver who had witnessed the collision and encouraged Ito to return to the site.

No alcohol was detected in Ito's blood, Japanese media said, citing police sources.

The actor was taken in for questioning on Wednesday night and arrested yesterday just after 10am on suspicions of a hit-and-run accident, causing injury.

By Japanese law, the police can detain a suspect for up to 23 days upon arrest before prosecutors decide whether to file charges.

The arrest of Ito, who made his acting debut in 2014 and had formerly appeared as a commentator on the Netflix reality show Terrace House, was the trending topic on Twitter in Japan yesterday.

His management agency, in a statement to the JNN News Network, apologised to the two victims, as well as for causing worry and inconveniencing the public. It added that it was checking the facts of the case.

Ito plays the lead role in two upcoming movies - the manga-adapted comedy Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro and the period comedy drama Junihitoe Wo Kita Akuma (loosely translated as "Devil wearing the Junihitoe formal robe"), which premieres in Japan next Friday.

While Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro will be released in Japan today as planned, the release date of the second movie is now up in the air.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2020, with the headline 'Actor Kentaro Ito arrested for hit-and-run accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe