Japan pop star's arrest inspires "naked" T-shirts

Fri May 1, 2009 4:15am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - What's wrong with being naked?

That's what a Japanese TV star asked police who arrested him for public indecency when he was found drunk, naked and screaming in a Tokyo park in the early hours of the morning last week.

His words struck a chord with the public and have now become the slogan on a new range of T-shirts sold by online retailer ClubT. (clubt.jp/product/53243.html)

"They are definitely selling," said company spokeswoman Nanako Shibuya, who said she could not give precise figures.

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, 34, who shot to fame 20 years ago as a member of boy band SMAP, resisted arrest and was bundled into a police vehicle wrapped in a blanket, media reports said. Police questioned him at length and also searched his home.

Prosecutors decided on Friday not to charge Kusanagi, media reports said.

But the incident has sparked sympathy for Kusanagi. Many Japanese complained the slight, serious-looking actor was treated too harshly, especially after he appeared close to tears during a news conference he called to apologize for his behavior.

One fan threatened online to attack the Akasaka police station where he was held, the Asahi newspaper said last week.

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

<p>Japanese star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi enters a news conference in Tokyo April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>