• Staff Report


Three ex-members of the disbanded all-male pop group SMAP have launched an official fan site with a video alluding to freedom from the group’s past troubles and a fresh start under new management.

Earlier this month, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori left their talent agency Johnny & Associates, which nurtured and promoted the five-member SMAP over two decades, as their contracts expired. SMAP, which also included Takuya Kimura and Masahiro Nakai, disbanded at the end of December.

The new website, titled Atarashii Chizu (New Map), features a 50-second video with scenes of young men and women on the streets of Japan and abroad. They are segmented with short messages such as, “Let’s run away,” “From things that tie you down,” “Let’s go beyond borders” and “We love freedom and peace, armed with ideas and charm.”

The site, run by management company Culen, asks fans to register as members for more information about the trio’s future activities. It also says the three will launch their fresh start on Oct. 16.

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