Tatsuya Yamaguchi, the bassist of Japanese rock band Tokio, has left the group after committing an indecent act towards an underaged girl.
The band, which is under one of Japan’s biggest talent agencies Johnny’s Entertainment, held a press conference yesterday sans Tatsuya to announce his departure.
The 46-year-old had forcefully kissed a high school student in his home in February after inviting her and her friend over for drinks. He reportedly met the girl through work and was drinking alone at home on the day of the incident when he decided to invite the girls over to his house.
The girl made a police report and an investigation was launched in March, but it was only recently that his bandmates and agency found out about the incident. The girl agreed to drop charges after coming to a settlement.
Tatsuya recently issued a public apology to the girl and her family. During a press conference held two days ago, Tatsuya also announced his withdrawal from the group. He had gotten down on his knees to apologise (dogeza), an act that demonstrates deep remorse in the Japanese culture.
His bandmates and agency also issues separate apologies. During the press conference yesterday, the members expressed regret and disappointment over Tatsuya’s behaviour in front of the media while shedding tears. Leader Shigeru Joshima was quoted by Japan Today to say, “We apologise from the bottom of our hearts. [We] wanted to apologise as Tokio and state our feelings as soon as possible.”
The four will continue as a group for the time being, but all their activities, including their album to mark their 25th anniversary, have been suspended or cancelled. They had been appointed as the ambassadors for Tokyo 2020, but it’s unclear if they would remain as ambassadors after this scandal.
The group is well-known for their unique brand of rock music, including hit singles “Love You Only”, “Sorafune” and “AMBITIOUS JAPAN!”.
If you bear witness to a sexual assault or harassment, alert the police immediately. If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted or harassed and needs help, contact AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre at 6779 0282.
Images: TPG/Click Photos