Mon, Jul 30, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Japanese singer in hot water over pubic appearance

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kazunobu Mineta, singer of the band Ging Nang Boyz, performs at the three-day Formoz Festival 2007 in Taipei on Saturday. Stripping off his shorts for just a few minutes landed Mineta an interview with police, who charged him with violating public decency.

PHOTO: CNA

Police charged a Japanese rock singer yesterday with violating public decency laws after he briefly stripped on-stage during a concert in Taipei on Saturday night.

Kazunobu Mineta, 29, and his band, the Ging Nang Boyz, were performing as part of the line-up for the three-day Formoz Festival at the Taipei Children's Recreation Center, when Mineta surprised the audience by taking off his shorts for just a few minutes.

Tang Ssu-huai (唐斯懷), the Taipei police officer in charge of the case, told reporters that the police began receiving telephone calls complaining about Mineta's full Monty soon after the incident.

Police were able to locate Mineta after the concert and took him to a police station for a questioning, Tang said.

Mineta was released by police around 2:30am yesterday.

The Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday that Mineta had been "drinking" before he disrobed.

"He had a sip of wine and began taking off his clothes on stage," the newspaper said.

"He later stood all naked on stage for a full minute before retreating to the back stage to put on his shorts," the paper said.

"Some female fans were astonished, but male audiences were thrilled and screamed," the paper said.

Tang said Mineta had told police he was used to taking his pants off while performing in Japan and that he did not know the behavior was illegal in Taiwan.

The singer said he wanted to apologize for his behavior, Tang said.

"With the atmosphere at the concert getting more animated, I became very excited and took my pants off," Tang quoted the singer as saying.

Tang said nudity in public was a violation of public decency.

If convicted, Mineta could face a one-year jail term although the sentence could be commuted to a minimum fine of NT$3,000, the police officer said.

Tang said the police had sent the case to Taipei prosecutors for investigation, and the prosecutors' decision was expected in about two weeks.

Tang said Mineta could leave Taiwan at any time as the singer had not been barred from leaving the country.

Additional reporting by Ap

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