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3 former members of SMAP to leave talent agency

This caricature by Yukiyoshi Tokoro depicts the members of SMAP. In the front row, from left, are Shingo Katori, Masahiro Nakai, and Takuya Kimura. In the back row, from left, are Goro Inagaki and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Three former members of Japanese pop idol band SMAP, which broke up at the end of last year, will leave their talent agency Johnny & Associates in September, the agency said Sunday.

The agency will end its management contract with Goro Inagaki, 43, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, 42, and Shingo Katori, 40, on Sept. 8 when the contract term ends, as requested by the former members, it said.

Regarding their activities after leaving the agency, "They are expected to make announcements as soon as the details are determined," an agency official said.

The agency will retain its management contract with the remaining former members, Takuya Kimura, 44, and Masahiro Nakai, 44, it said.

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