On May 2, Tokio members Joshima Shigeru, Kokubun Taiichi, Matsuoka Masahiro and Nagase Tomoya held a press conference on Yamaguchi’s prosecution and expressed their anger on the latter who still thinks of returning to Tokio.
During the press conference, one of Yamaguchi’s regular TV program, Shiawase Bombi Girl, on which he takes on the role of the main emcee, removed his image from the official website. At 2pm when the press conference began, Yamaguchi’s photo was still used on the website but by 3pm, his pictures were removed.
Staff of programs starring Yamaguchi have voiced their intention to either halt airing of the shows or re-edit to remove segments with Yamaguchi’s appearances. At the press conference, Matsuoka mentioned that Tokio programs will continue with the four members while expressing his disappointment, as with other members, on Yamaguchi’s thinking that he still has a place in Tokio.
Looking at Tokio’s profile on Johnny’s official page reveals that the agency has also removed Yamaguchi from the members list, and his profile is nowhere to be found.
Credit: Image taken from Johnny & Associates website
The past few days of news on the incident reminded me of the drug abuse case of former baseball player Kiyohara Kazuhiro. It was sad to hear the news change from addressing him as “清原選手 (loosely, sportsperson Kiyohara)” to “清原容疑者 (loosely, suspect Kiyohara).” And this time, it is equally depressing to hear “山口さん (loosely, Mr. Yamaguchi)” become “山口メンバー (loosely, member Yamaguchi).”
It’s interesting how one addresses another can express so much.