Junnosuke Taguchi (37), formerly of KAT-TUN, has been attracting attention for his new project to support people with disabilities.
Recently Taguchi has been holding live performances once a month and is also active as a professional mahjong player. In an interview in the July 9 edition of “Daily Shincho,” Taguchi said that he plans to open an employment support facility for people with minor disabilities in Kumamoto Prefecture by this fall.
The impetus came from a company manager who took care of him after his arrest this spring, and he described the impression he received when he visited a facility in Miyazaki Prefecture.
When I saw people who could only use Word and Excel when they entered the facility, and now they are even working on virtual reality (VR) production, I thought, how can I say it, ……, “There is nothing but dreams here! I thought, “There is nothing but dreams here.
He had some hesitation about actually supporting people with disabilities as a business. However, he decided to do it because he felt there was a similarity between his “love of entertaining and making people happy,” which is the reason he is still in the entertainment industry, and starting up an IT business with people with disabilities using computers, which he also loves. He decided to start his own IT business with people with disabilities using computers, which he also loves.
From the interview, we can see that Mr. Taguchi is sincerely trying to tackle his new business. However, there have been many cases of entertainers who have caused incidents in the past and publicly stated that they would work on welfare in the future, but have not followed through after all. Perhaps that is why some people said, ‘Don’t use welfare to enhance your image.
Another point that attracted attention was the fact that Taguchi was planning to open a facility in Kumamoto. Taguchi cited as reasons for choosing Kumamoto as the location, the fact that he experienced the earthquake there during the ’16 Kumamoto earthquake and got to know many people in the process of reconstruction, and the fact that he would start his business as a franchise of a facility in Miyazaki Prefecture, making it easier for him to receive support.
However, many people see it as more than just that. Kumamoto is the home of Rena Komine (43), who was arrested with Taguchi for marijuana possession in 2007.
Taguchi left “KAT-TUN” in March ’16 and left Johnny’s office, but a women’s magazine later reported that he and Komine might move to Kyushu together.
Komine’s family runs a care house for the elderly, and she might help out there. It is believed that they were in Kumamoto at that time when they encountered the Kumamoto earthquake. That is why there are whispers that he and Komine might get back together again.
Taguchi and Komine are said to have been living together almost continuously since they started dating in 2006. At the trial when he was arrested in 1919, Komine proposed to Taguchi about the future, saying, “If we continue dating, I want to marry you,” and Taguchi accepted the proposal.
However, after Taguchi resumed his entertainment activities, it is reported that there was some awkwardness between Komine, who wanted to get married, and Taguchi, who for some reason could not come to terms with the situation, although they had reportedly been living together. By the summer of 2010, the cohabitation was dissolved.
With his new business in Kumamoto, Taguchi may be pursuing not only his newfound dream, but also another past dream at the same time.
PHOTO.： Keisuke Nishi, Akifumi Yoshida, Shuichi Masuda