• Kyodo

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Japanese male idol group V6 will break up on Nov. 1 after more than 25 years together, as Go Morita will leave their talent agency to pursue acting, the group’s office said Friday.

The six-member group under the management of powerhouse entertainment agency Johnny & Associates Inc. is one of the most successful male idol groups in Japan and has toured other Asian countries and regions, including South Korea and Taiwan in 2009.

“The decision is certainly not a step back but rather for us to grow and take the next step (in our lives),” they said Friday in a statement posted on the group’s website.

While Morita, 42, will continue his career as an actor outside Johnny’s, the remaining five members — Masayuki Sakamoto, 49, Hiroshi Nagano, 48, Yoshihiko Inohara, 44, Ken Miyake, 41 and Junichi Okada, 40 — will remain with the agency and focus on their solo careers, the agency said.

The decision came after Morita told the other members that he wishes to leave the agency and pursue his acting career in a new environment, the statement said.

The breakup follows the disbandment of SMAP and the suspension of activities by Arashi, two other major Japanese pop idol groups under Johnny’s, in recent years.

V6 debuted in 1995 and released a series of hit songs including “Ai Nanda” (“This is Love”) and “WA ni natte Odoro” (“Let’s Dance in a Circle”).

Their song “Feel your breeze” was also the theme song of the popular Japanese TV series “Gokusen” that was aired elsewhere in Asia.

The members, individually and as a group, have also appeared in TV dramas, movies and variety shows.

The group’s signature TV variety show, “Gakko e Iko!” (“Let’s Go to School”), in which members addressed students’ worries about school life, gained popularity among teenagers.

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