Taiji Sawada — former bassist of X JAPAN, passed away in a hospital on the US Territory of Saipan last 17th July 2011. Taiji was rushed to a hospital after he supposedly strangled himself with some bed sheets. He was already comatose in the hospital’s intensive care unit, when his family arrived in Saipan and decided to remove him from life support.
Immediately before his death, Taiji had allegedly assaulted a female passenger on board a Delta airlines flight from Japan to Saipan. Taiji was arrested upon landing, after being restrained for the remainder of the flight by other passengers and flight attendants — one of whom sustained injuries after she was kicked by Sawada.
Taiji officially joined X JAPAN in 1986. Some of his compositions such as “Phantom of Guilt”, “Desperate Angel”, and “Voiceless Screaming” became part of X JAPAN’s iconic repertoire. Taiji left the band in 1992; he claims he was asked to resign from the group after financial issues arose between him and Yoshiki.
Taiji rejoined X JAPAN in 2010 for their August performances at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium. This was also his last performance with the band prior to his unexpected demise.