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Japan

Idol from girl group Morning Musume indicted over ‘drunken hit-and-run incident’

Japanese singer Hitomi Yoshizawa is accused of injuring two people while speeding through Tokyo

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2018, 8:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2018, 8:50pm

Prosecutors on Wednesday indicted Hitomi Yoshizawa, a former member of the all-girl J-pop group Morning Musume, for injuring two people in an alleged hit-and-run incident while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The 33-year-old was driving at a speed of 86km/h in a 60km/h zone before the accident, according to investigative sources.

Yoshizawa was arrested on September 6 on suspicion of driving through a red light at around 7am in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward and hitting a female cyclist. She also allegedly injured a male pedestrian.

After fleeing the scene, Yoshizawa called police about 15 minutes later and returned to the scene, the sources said. A breath test found her to have a level of alcohol in her system almost four times Japan’s legal limit of 0.15 milligrams.

She has not spoken either to investigators or publicly about her culpability in the incident, according to prosecutors. Her lawyer applied for bail at Tokyo District Court.

Yoshizawa debuted as a member of Morning Musume in 2000 and served as a public relations ambassador for her hometown of Miyoshi, Saitama Prefecture, after leaving the group in 2007. She stepped down from the post following the incident.