J-pop group SMAP to break up, after all, on New Year's Eve

J-pop group SMAP will split on Dec 31 this year, their current agency, Johnny & Associates, announced early on August 14.
J-pop group SMAP will split on Dec 31 this year, their current agency, Johnny & Associates, announced early on August 14.PHOTO: SMAP/FACEBOOK

TOKYO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Popular pop group SMAP will split on Dec 31 this year, their current agency, Johnny & Associates, announced early on Sunday morning (Aug 14).

In January this year, the all-male group were reported to be on the verge of a break-up, but all the five members appeared together on live TV and expressed their intention to continue as a group.

Several members of SMAP requested the agency to break up the group, which led to Sunday's decision. All the members will stay in the agency.

They are Takuya Kimura, Masahiro Nakai, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori.