Wednesday 24th December, 12:40 PM JST
Former television personality Ai Iijima was found dead at her condominium unit in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Wednesday afternoon, less than two years after she announced her retirement from show business, police said.
Iijima, 36, was found lying in the living room in casual clothes and with no obvious injuries, police said, adding they believe she either died of an illness or committed suicide. An autopsy will be conducted on Thursday.
Iijima’s body was found around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday by an acquaintance who paid a visit to the condo after Iijima had stopped responding to communications from her several days ago. The acquaintance had the resident manager open Iijima’s unit on the 21st floor of the condominium building.
Iijima gained popularity in the 1990s as a variety show host and for other roles. 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, she made public that her health was not good due to a kidney disease and other problems. She announced her retirement in March last year, saying, ‘‘It is impossible to survive in the entertainment industry if I cannot find my goal and dream, and cannot keep trying.’
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