SMAP announced their disbandment on midnight of 13th August 2016.
On 10th August 2016, Kimura was in Hawaii for an annual family vacation when the rest went to Johnny Kitagawa to apply for disbandment. Nakai was more neutral and wanted the group to stay together, but Shingo/Tsuyoshi/Goro were convinced they should disband. They did not wish to go on hiatus and give fans a false hope of returning.
The group will disband at the end of this year, thereafter each will continue with solo work.
At this point in time, there are no plans for a disbandment concert or press conference. However, according to an emergency survey by Sports Hochi, 83% of respondents(769 people) are hoping for them to appear in this year’s NHK Kohoku Uta Gassen.
Bunshun report: Reason for disbandment, the “Kimura Distrust”
“This is not a problem which started today or yesterday. We were “broken” 15 years ago. But we continued for 10 years. Please understand this.”
This was apparently what Shingo and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi said to Kousugi Ryuzo, the agency’s consultant/advisor, in their face-to-face meetings after the disbandment saga early this year.
What happened 15 years ago, was Kimura’s flash marriage to Kudo Shizuka. His marriage was disapproved by Iljima, a mother-like manager of SMAP for many years.
Details will be published in 17th August 2016 issue of Bunshun.
Details of talks with Johnny Kitagawa revealed
2 talks in early June 2016 took place with all 5 gathered. The agenda was an upcoming music show appearance in July. According to a TV personnel, Johnny Kitagawa(84) went as far as to persuade them with “After all, i’m already at this age.” He also tried to convince them to do a 25th anniversary concert citing fan expectations.
That did not cause Katori Shingo(39) and others to change their minds. They did not want to do the 25th anniversary concert nor Kouhaku Uta Gassen nor continue with SMAP x SMAP. The conclusion – they did not wish to continue with SMAP.
The troubled Johnny Kitagawa then said “Then, what do you want to do?”
Katori Shingo was in a deep feud with Kimura Takuya(43), over the resignation of their ex-manager Iljima who took responsibilty after the SMAP disbandment saga early this year. A related personnel said “there is a deep sense of loss, and he’s lost his passion for everything”.
If it were previous years, going on hiatus wouldn’t be a problem. But SMAP is welcoming their 25th anniversary in September, so there was a pressing need to announce their upcoming activities. When asked if he wanted to disband or go on hiatus, Shingo and others were just “okay with either”. When Johnny Kitagawa proposed that they go on hiatus, the guys changed their minds and opted to disband.