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“No possibility” of SMAP split, says manager

By | Published on Monday 9 May 2016


There is “no possibility” of Japanese boyband SMAP splitting up, according to the head of their management company, Johnny Kitagawa.

As previously reported, it was rumoured earlier this year that some members of the long serving group were planning to leave the management agency that brought them together in the late 80s, Johnny & Associates. They then made a fairly miserable looking statement on their weekly TV show days later denying that this would happen, though speculation of a split has continued – particularly thanks to reports that their contract with the management firm is up for renewal in September.

Speaking about the matter for the first time last week, Kitagawa told Sankei Sports (via Arama Japan): “There’s no possibility of disbandment. There’s no reason to leave! Disbanding isn’t a joke. It’s impossible. There’s no reason for anyone to leave”.

“They’re like my children”, he added. “They too, view me as their parent. There’s definitely no way that they would do something without consulting with me. They may have faith in me but above all, I have faith in them as well. We’re going to go all out. There’s no meaning in retreating and wasting away”.

Despite Kitagawa’s comments, and the lucrative brand partnerships SMAP continue to attract, reports that some members are deeply unhappy, coupled with the potential contract break in September, will keep speculation rife for the foreseeable future.