by Chris MaGee
34-year-old Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, member of boy band SMAP and star of such films as Shinji Higuchi "The Sinking of Japan" and Katsuhito Ishii's "My Darling of the Mountains", was arrested early Wednesday morning for causing a disturbance and public indecency. At 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning police responded to calls of a naked man yelling and causing a commotion in Hinokicho Park in midtown Tokyo. When they arrived on the scene they found Kusanagi obviously drunk and absolutely naked. At first belligerent Kusanagi shouted "What's wrong with me being naked?", but once subdued authorities administered a breathalyzer test, the result of which was BAC of 0.8 mg/L, ten times over the legal limit.
Despite an apology issued to various media outlets by Kusanagi and SMAP's management agency, Johnny's Jimusho, and a tearful plea on the star's behalf by his personal manager the arrest has quickly blown up into a national scandal in Japan. Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Hatoyama Kunio, was quoted as saying that "It makes me boiling mad. He's the lowest kind of human being. Unforgiveable." Kusanagi had been the government spokesperson for a plan to switch over all television broadcasts to digital format in 2011, but as a result of this arrest all ads featuring the disgraced star are being pulled. FujiTV has followed suit by pulling Kusanagi from four of its regular programs including "SMAPxSMAP" the boy band's weekly variety show.
Obviously there will be more fall out from Kusanagi's arrest and we'll keep you updated as more information comes out. Until then here's a clip from Japanese TV covering the resulting media firestorm. Thanks to Tokyograph, Japan Zone, and 47news.jp for details on this.