This week’s featured article


Tatsuya Yamaguchi, a member of Japanese all-male pop group Tokio, intends to leave the five-member band after coming under fire for kissing a high school student against her will, other group members revealed Wednesday.

The remaining four members — Shigeru Joshima, Masahiro Matsuoka, Tomoya Nagase and Taichi Kokubun — said at a press conference they have not yet concluded what to do about Yamaguchi’s resignation.

The 46-year-old musician and TV personality had admitted to the allegation and was referred to prosecutors in April, but they dropped his indictment on Tuesday. The girl is believed to have withdrawn her victim report after agreeing to a settlement.

“We apologize from the bottom of our hearts,” said group leader Joshima.

Tokio members said they plan to continue their work for the time being. Yamaguchi has already been suspended from work indefinitely.

“Even if we accept his resignation letter, I still cannot abandon Yamaguchi,” said Kokubun.

The group had been preparing to release an album later this year to mark the 25th anniversary of its debut, but the plan has been dropped, they said.

Last month, Yamaguchi was referred to prosecutors on suspicion of forcibly kissing the girl, whom he had met through work, at his home in Tokyo’s Minato Ward in February.

He was drinking alcohol alone on the day of the incident and invited the girl to his home in the evening, according to his lawyer.

The case has rocked the Japanese entertainment industry, prompting the suspension of TV programs, commercials and other advertisements in which Yamaguchi appeared, including a program for youths aired by the country’s public broadcaster, NHK.

Tokio had been working as special ambassadors to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games flag tour, which will see replicas of the event’s official flags travel across Japan.

First published in The Japan Times on May 3.

Warm up

One-minute chat about apologizing.


Collect words related to showbiz stars, e.g., agency, scandal, TV.

New words

1) allegation: formal accusation, e.g., “He denied the allegation in court.”

2) prosecutor: a lawyer who conducts a case against a defendant in criminal court, e.g., “My mother is a public prosecutor.”

3) indictment: charge, e.g., “They issued an indictment for the crime naming the suspect.”

Guess the headline

Tokio member Tatsuya Yamaguchi plans to l_ _ _ _ pop group over kissing sc_ _ _ _ _


1) What did Tatsuya Yamaguchi do?

2) What was he doing earlier that day?

3) How did the industry react to the issue?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What do you think about this issue?

2) What do you think Yamaguchi should do?

3) What do you think should be done about the 2020 Olympic campaign Tokio was involved in?




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