Musician Sawada dies

Posted on Jul 17 2011

Japanese musician and songwriter Taiji Sawada died yesterday morning at the Commonwealth Health Center, Saipan Tribune learned, some three days after he reportedly tried to kill himself.

A Department of Public Safety official confirmed that Sawada passed away at 11am. The official, who requested anonymity, said that Sawada’s body was taken to CHC’s morgue. He refused to elaborate.

A Department of Public Health staff separately said that Sawada had been on life support at the intensive care unit after he became brain dead. Sawada’s family made the decision to unhook the life support system, the staff said.

The staff said that Sawada’s mother and his girlfriend were at the hospital.

Sources from the Japanese media disclosed that Sawada reportedly had epilepsy and a chronic illness.

Sources said Sawada’s family flew to Saipan on Saturday after learning about his suicide attempt.

The 45-year-old Sawada was rushed to the hospital on Thursday night after he allegedly tried to hang himself using a bed sheet.

Because of the incident, the musician failed to show up at his scheduled detention hearing on Friday morning at the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office had filed a complaint, charging Sawada with interfering with the performance of a flight attendant.

Sawada allegedly became unruly as the aircraft was descending in preparation for landing at the Saipan International Airport on Monday, July 11. He allegedly punched the plane’s window, kicked the seat in front of him, and assaulted a flight attendant.

The FBI said Sawada was among the passengers aboard Delta Flight 298. He was in the business class cabin when he reportedly became angry with a female passenger and became violent. The report did not mention what aroused his anger and whether he and the passenger were related.

Sawada was primarily known for his work with the once popular but now disbanded heavy metal band X, where he played bass.

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