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Japan Star Hirofumi Arai Arrested on Rape Charge

Hirofumi Arai, an actor who has appeared in many major Japanese films of the past two decades, was arrested by Tokyo police on Friday. He has been charged with the offense of “forcible intercourse” or rape.

The move stems from Arai’s alleged encounter with an unnamed woman dispatched from a massage service to Arai’s residence on July 1 of last year. According the police report, Arai committed violent acts against the woman, including “forcible intercourse.”

Arai has reportedly denied some of the charges. His agency, Anore, has told the media that it is not at present in touch with Arai, and cannot reply to the report of his arrest.

Public broadcaster NHK immediately halted sales of ten programs in which Arai was involved, including the 2015 mystery drama “64.” Other projects involving the star are likely to be affected, including the Masahide Ichii drama “Typhoon Family,” which is set for a June release through Kino Films.

Born in 1979 in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, as Kyung-Sik Park, Arai is a versatile actor in demand for both comic and serious roles. He has frequently appeared in TV dramas for NHK, the Wowow entertainment channel, and major commercial networks. His best-known movie titles include 2013 Takeshi Kitano hit “Beyond Outrage,” and the 2012 Takashi Miike Cannes competition entry “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai.”

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