FRIDAY, one of Japan’s best known outlets for sensational journalism, has photographed one of the industry’s best-loved (and most shipped) on-screen couple – actress Inoue Mao (27) and Arashi‘s Matsumoto Jun (30).
The two met on set as the main characters of the 2005 hit drama “Hana Yori Dango” and have been close since, resulting in speculations of dating between the two from fans and press alike. There was also rumors when the two were found wearing matching rings from a foreign brand.
FRIDAY reported that Inoue had finished promotions for her new movie “Shiroyuki-hime Satsujin Jiken” and returned home before leaving again at 10:30pm for their meeting place by taxi disguised in a hat, glasses, and mask. She arrived at a high-class yakiniku restaurant with individual rooms. Two hours after the shop had closed at 2:00am, Inoue was photographed escorted from the staff entrance of the restaurant to a taxi by which she went home. About 5 minutes later, Matsumoto, alongside fellow Johnny’s Ikuta Toma (29), also left from the staff entrance and flagged their own taxis to go home.
A source from the industry commented, “Matsumoto is still very close to his costars from ‘Hana Yori Dango’, especially Oguri Shun. He attended Oguri’s wedding. Whenever their schedules match, the two, plus Ikuta, would often go drinking together. Sometimes Inoue would also join them.”
While these are mere rumors, the report has certainly stirred hot discussion among fans.