Chinese netizens call Japanese actress Noriko Sakai 'international beggar'

Japanese actress Noriko Sakai's wholesome image was shattered after she was sentenced in 2009 to three years' probation in Japan for drug abuse.
Japanese actress Noriko Sakai's wholesome image was shattered after she was sentenced in 2009 to three years' probation in Japan for drug abuse.PHOTO: WEIBO / NORIKO SAKAI

SHANGHAI - Japanese actress Noriko Sakai is now paying for a tweet which led to her being slammed by Chinese netizens as an "international beggar".

On Tuesday (Jan 8), the 47-year-old apologised for the post which included links to online payment sites, reported Global Times.

Sakai, whose wholesome image was shattered after she was sentenced in 2009 to three years' probation in Japan for drug abuse, had sent new year greetings to fans on Monday on Sina Weibo.

The tweet came with links for fan-club registration and money transfers via Alipay and UnionPay.

After fans raised an uproar that she was shamelessly asking for money, she deleted the tweet, saying that the payment links were meant only to help fans pay for enrolment in a fan club.

But some netizens did not buy her explanation, noting that Sakai had also put up payment links in various posts last year.

The backlash is a sign of how far her star has fallen since she made news in the 1990s as one of the rare Japanese artist success stories in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, for her songs and TV dramas.