Ai Iijima died of pneumonia; no foul play, say police
Former television personality Ai Iijima died of pneumonia, police said Wednesday, ruling out foul play in her death. The Tokyo Medical Examiner’s Office examined the case after a police autopsy failed to determine the cause of death. Iijima, 36, was found dead in her apartment in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Dec 24.
She is believed to have died around a week before her body was found by an acquaintance.
Iijima gained popularity in the 1990s as a variety show host and porn star. Her autobiographical novel ‘‘Platonic Sex,’’ published in 2000, became a bestseller and was made into a movie as well as a television drama.
In 2006, Iijima said her health was not good due to a kidney disease and other problems. She announced her retirement in March of 2007, saying, ‘‘It’s impossible to survive (in the entertainment industry) if I can’t achieve my goal and dream, and I can’t keep on trying.’‘
Meanwhile, Watanabe Entertainment will hold a memorial service for Iijima at the Tokyo Prince Hotel on March 1.
Watanabe Entertainment, which managed Iijima until her retirement from showbiz, said that celebrities Hideyuki Nakayama, Midori Utsumi, Shinobu Otake, Mariko Kaga, Shinsuke Shimada, Ken Shimura, Kazuo Tokumitsu and others will attend.
They also said that the service will start at 11 a.m. for family, friends and colleagues of Iijima, and that the general public can offer flowers and donations from 1 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention.