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[UPDATED] The End of SMAP?

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The entertainment industry in Japan has been rocked by news that Johnny’s group SMAP has broken up due to a management spat.  This is what we know of from various sources:

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There are three major factions within the Johnny’s Jimusho agency.  Each in charge of various groups.   One resigned after a heated exchange with the VP.

According to news reports, the manager of SMAP (a female manager) who helped the group become popular throughout their career was forced to resign due to problems with a company executive.

Four of the SMAP members Nakai Masahiro, Goro Inagaki, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Katori Shingo are leaving Johnny’s, while Kimura Takuya will stay.  Making it impossible for SMAP to continue.

Is this the end of SMAP? As of right now, there is no confirmation that the group is ending and the four members have bolted out of Johnny’s.  There is no public statement from any members of SMAP at this time.

But because of this news, expect to see major updates coming soon!

TOKIO’s Kokubun Taichi (41) was on a TBS variety show and when asked about the news reports, all he had to say was that he was surprised when he saw it on the morning paper.

UPDATE:

Johnny’s confirmed in a fax that they are in negotiations with the four SMAP members.

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