TOKYO (TR) – Johnny & Associates last week announced the termination of idol Ryota Yamamoto after the emergence of a report showing that he visited an illegal casino.
On October 2, the agency said in a statement that it had cancelled the contract of Yamamoto, 30, the day before.
“We sincerely apologize for any concern and inconvenience caused to fans and regular supporters,” the agency said.
That same day, the web site for tabloid Shukan Bunshun posted an article that included photographs documenting Yamamoto’s visit to the casino, located in the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku Ward, on a couple occasions in early September.
According to the article, the casino operates in violation of the law. “These types of places have deep ties to gangsters,” one source was quoted.
“Oversight and guidance”
After one visit, he exited the premises and he met up with a woman. She then joined him in a taxi bound for his residence, the article said.
Yamamoto was a member of idol group Uchu Six, which is represented by Johnny & Associates’s subsidiary Johnny’s Jr.
“We will be reviewing our oversight and guidance provided to our entertainers at Johnny’s Jr.,” the statement added.