Exact words from SMAPxSMAP yesterday….
Kimura Takuya: We have worried a lot of people. Continuing this way, we would have faced disbandment. Today it’s more important than anything to face everyone, so we borrowed time to do this.
Inagaki Goro: Sorry for causing the chaos. I will work hard so u can continue to look at us, pls take care of us.
Shingo Katori: Sorry for causing the worries. I want to create smiles again with everyone from today, pls take care of us.
Nakai Masahiro: We understand once again how much support we’re receiving from everyone. Really sorry. Pls take care of us.
Kusanagi Tsuyoshi: We realized a lot of things through your words this time. Thank you. Because of Kimura, we are able to apologise to Johnny and stand together. I feel comforted being here as 5.
Kimura Takuya: Lastly, from now no matter what happens, we just want to look forward, so everyone pls take care of us.
While specific words about not disbanding wasn’t mentioned, media/fans are seeing it that way. Others are intrigued by the expressions on members’ faces and speculating on the threats imposed on them by Johnny’s – some even compared the agency to mafia. Some call it power harassment.
This apology scene got close to Kouhaku ratings of 37.2% in the Kanto region. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also expressed relief at the group’s continuity, saying it was great that fans’ wishes were answered.
Sponichi reported about misunderstandings causing the 4 to leave. Apparently, Iijima acted on her own to appoint SMAP as NHK’s Kouhaku hosts last year, angering Mary, so she told her to get out with SMAP. Not knowing that their manager was the spark for getting them exiled, the 4 resolved in leaving by themselves. Mary saw them as revolts like Iijima so things escalated to this point.
Perhaps the grudge still lives on in their hearts. News articles are reporting what happened before this apology scene.It’s said that Nakai was supposed to thank Kimura for setting up the stage for reconciliation but he was rather unwilling so Tsuyoshi took on the role instead. Tsuyoshi is now touted as the key figure in restoring their relationship. (Source)
A look at the events leading up till today: