In June, the group’s youngest member was suspended indefinitely after photos of him smoking underage were published. Yesterday, Hey! Say! JUMP’s Kota Yabu made a formal apology to the press before the remaining nine members bowed their heads.
“Recently, it has been reported in magazines and newspapers that one our of members was caught smoking underage. We would like to apologize to all of the staff we work with for the trouble we’ve caused, and to all of our fans who we have hurt. We are really, very sorry.”
Yabu had said he had talked to member-in-question since the incident.
“He said he really understands how important it is to be able to work, and to be able to have time to meet fans. He said he’ll be focusing on school work now. I told him to do whatever he can in the mean time as best as he can.”
The members bowed their heads down four times as Yabu continued to apologize to fans.
“We’ve always been supported by fans, and we’ve always been working for them, making sure their dreams come first. We want to apologize for breaking that dream.
“We’d like to get everyone’s trust back, and take it one step at a time.”
It has been reported Johnny’s & Associates president Johnny Kitagawa has said there has been no set date for the suspended member’s return, at least not until the member has accepted the full consequences of his actions.
Nevertheless, the remaining nine members returned to the SUMMARY stage, which is bigger than last year.
In one flying wire scene which required all ten members, Johnny’s Jr. group B.I.Shadow’s Kento Nakajima took the tenth place.
Yuri Chinen showed he had learnt a few things since last year, successfully pulling off new stunts such as a flying trapeze jump where the talent starts swinging upside-down before jumping to another swing.
The talent was even ‘scouted’ by his professional flying trapeze partner, who said Chinen should come to Mexico with him if life as a pop star does not work out.
Daiki Arioka and Ryosuke Yamada worked together in the tightrope-walking stunts, despite being scared of heights. It has been reported the two followed a special diet and got their body-fat percentage down to 5 per cent.
“SUMMARY 2011” will continue performances in Tokyo until September 11 before moving to Osaka on September 18, and finally to Tokyo Dome on September 24 and 25.