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Avex axes Globe releases following Komuro scandal

Tetsuya Komuro
Tetsuya Komuro appears in the news upon his arrest

TOKYO (TR) – Record label Avex has canceled two upcoming singles by pop act Globe following a scandal involving the band’s founding member, producer and songwriter Tetsuya Komuro.

Komuro, who has produced albums and singles for numerous Avex groups, was arrested along with two others on Tuesday for attempting to sell intellectual property rights he did not own.

“Avex understands that he was arrested,” said an official statement from the label that has now replaced the band’s official Web page, “but we are unsure of the details. It is a very regrettable situation, and we will monitor the the investigation as it continues in the future.”

The 49-year-old Komuro defrauded a company president in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture out of 500 million yen by selling the copyrights to 806 songs that he had written but was not the owner. Also arrested were Akihiko Hirane, president of event planner Tribal Kicks, and Takashi Kimura, who is employed by A.C Holdings.

A.C Holdings was owed 330 million yen in loan payments by Tribal Kicks, which holds Komuro on its board. The three men began discussions with the president in Tokyo in 2006.

Avex has ceased sales of all music and video products associated with Globe. The two canceled singles “Get Wild,” scheduled for release later this month, and “Self Control,” set for December, were to be an attempt at resuscitating a low point for the band, whose last million-selling album was 1998’s “Relation.” The trio’s self-titled debut from 1996 sold more than 4 million copies.

Komuro made a name for himself as the king of J-pop in the ’90s, having produced hit records for such singers as Namie Amuro and Ami Suzuki. Recordings he has produced are believed to have sold an estimated 170 million units.

News reports said that Tribal Kicks also fallen behind in sponsorship payments of 70 million yen to J. League soccer club Oita Trinita. The producer was also reported to be struggling with paying a 780-million-yen divorce settlement.