Title / Artist
Date / Source
Three members of Japan’s best-known boy group SMAP will leave Johnny & Associates in September
Date: 2017.06.21
Artist:   SMAP  
Source:  press release
The news of SMAP breaking up was a big shock to everyone in Japan. After 31st December 2016, we hadn’t seen the five members act together. Although the fans were eager to know each member’s future plans, nothing had been clarified.

On the 18th June 2017, Jonny & Associates sent an official announcement that three members of SMAP, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori, will end the contracts while the other two, Takuya Kimura and Masahiro Nakai, will stay with the agency. The rumor about this act was always around, yet most fans were uncertain about Nakai’s decision. Apparently, the group leader Nakai was the one who endlessly fought to prevent SMAP to split up. Some media suggested that one of the reasons for Nakai's remaining with Johnny’s is to keep the possibilities for SMAP to reunite again in the future.

The confusion continues. Although Johnny & Associates has released the announcement and sent out a special statement from Johnny Kitagawa, written below, there isn’t any specific directions the members will take.

Johnny Kitagawa’s comment about SMAP:

SMAP broke up on the 31st December last year. I believe we had special fate between us and each member so even after they disbanded, we continued to work together. This time, three of the SMAP members made their decisions to part ways. I will continue thinking about them wherever they are and whatever the relationship we’ll have. They put in a lot of effort and worked with us for a long time. I am certain that they will bring many people true entertainment and happiness in the future as well.
In addition, the name SMAP (SPORTS, MUSIC, ASSEMBLE, PEOPLE) means more to all of us now. I’d like to express it with: S for SUBARASHII (=amazing), M for MEMORIES, A for ARIGATOU(=thank you) and P for POWER.
The SMAP members are extremely talented and their names will be marked in their fans hearts, as well as my heart, forever.
-Johnny Kitagawa

Author: Meiko K.