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J-pop stars Tomohisa Yamashita, Kazuya Kamenashi disciplined for drinking with minors

The head office of Johnny & Associates, Inc. is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Japanese major talent agency Johnny & Associates, Inc. announced on Aug. 17 that it has disciplined actor and singer Tomohisa Yamashita and Kazuya Kamenashi, a member of the pop group "KAT-TUN," for allegedly drinking alcohol with minors.

    Yamashita, 35, was suspended from show business activities for an undefined period, while 34-year-old Kamenashi was given a strong warning and requested to submit a letter reflecting on his actions to the office. The agency judged that their behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic "lacked awareness and responsibility (as adults)."

    The online edition of the weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported on Aug. 7 that the two pop idols visited a restaurant in Tokyo with friends and drank alcohol with minors including young women on July 30.

    According to Johnny & Associates, Yamashita and Kamenashi have admitted that they ate and drank with the women. However, they said that they weren't aware that the women were under 20 as they were told by the restaurant that the women were of drinking age. The pair also double-checked with them on their age but didn't realize the women were minors.

    (Japanese original by Yoshiaki Kobayashi, Cultural News Department)

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