Asaka Seto’s Comeback Intervened After Appointment of Husband Yoshihiko Inohara as Johnny’s Vice President. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Asaka Seto’s Comeback Intervened After Appointment of Husband Yoshihiko Inohara as Johnny’s Vice President.

Will she be able to overcome her "wife of a vice president" image?

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When will the actress make a full-fledged comeback?

Actress Asaka Seto (46) is said to have been unexpectedly “hit” by the appointment of her husband, Yoshihiko Inohara (47), as “number two” at the Johnny’s office.

At the second press conference held by the Johnny’s Office on October 2 in response to the sexual assault issue of its founder, Johnny Kitagawa, it was announced that Inohara, president of the subsidiary ‘Johnny’s Island,’ will become vice president of a new agent company that will be established in the near future to handle the talents of the office. Inohara has risen to the second highest position in the Johnny’s group after Higashiyama Noriyuki, but this has made it difficult for Seto to resume her career as an actress, which she had been aiming for.


“Seto made her acting debut in 1992 and starred in a number of serial dramas, including ‘Miss Diamond’ (Fuji TV) in 1995 and ‘Summer Vacation for 27 Years Old’ (TBS) in 2005. She became one of the top actresses. However, in September 2007, she married Inohara, whom she had grown close to through their drama collaboration. After becoming a mother with her first son in March 2010 and a daughter in November 2013, she cut back on her acting career to raise her children. After the birth of her second child, she appeared in only a few dramas, the most recent being a one-shot appearance in the eighth episode of ‘Doctor X’ (Tele Asahi) in December 2021. Before that, she appeared in a special TV Tokyo drama in January 2019, so her activities had been rather limited.”

Last year, which marked the 30th anniversary of her debut, Seto just started her “fresh start”. At the end of May of the same year, she became independent from Foster, the entertainment company to which she had belonged since her debut, and established her own private agency. In December of the same year, she held an event to celebrate her 30th anniversary. Recently, she has often expressed in the media her desire to revive her acting career now that she has finished raising her children.


“I hope to increase my activities on the occasion of becoming independent. I love this job, so I want to do it as long as I can,” she said in an interview with Nikkan Sports last November, revealing her strong desire to become an actress. In an article published on the official website of the fashion magazine ‘LEE’ in March of this year, she stated that she would like to resume her acting career as well. 

In September of last year, a few months after Seto went freelance, Inohara was appointed president of Johnny’s Island. At that point, the sex-assault issue was not a hot topic, and there was a strong positive image that the couple had embarked on a new path together. However, the fact that Inohara, along with Higashiyama, has become the top executive of the new company, which has been under intense scrutiny for its handling of the sexual assault issue, has cast a “dark cloud” over Seto’s plans.


“Before the sexual assault issue spread, Seto had just become independent, and since she was Inohara’s wife and had experience as a leading actress, her full-fledged resurrection would be a hot topic of conversation. However, the issue has not been resolved, and there is a growing mood in the TV industry to avoid involving talents or events that have a strong image with Johnny’s.”

“Although Seto is not directly involved in the project, she is seen as the ‘wife of Johnny’s vice president,’ and some in the TV industry are wondering if it is safe to book her for the project. Suddenly, she has become a ‘difficult’ talent to handle,” said an employee of a commercial TV station.


What further exacerbated the situation was the revelation of the existence of a “list of NG reporters” at the press conference on October 2. Inohara is said to have learned of the list at a prior meeting, he was criticized for calling on the screaming reporters to “calm down” at the press conference.

“At the first press conference on September 7, Inohara’s natural and honest talk raised his favorability rating, but with the revelation of the ‘NG reporter list,’ he is now in a perilous position. Inochi’s stock has been fluctuating wildly, and Seto must not be too happy about the fact that his husband’s future is now in the dark. She may not be in a position to concentrate on her acting career.”

As of early October, Seto has not mentioned her problems with Johnny’s on social networking sites, etc. On September 20, she updated her Instagram page for the first time in a month, writing only, “It’s late September…still hot,” and posting a close-up shot of her beautiful face with a slight smile in her strong eyes. Will the time come when she can revive her acting career and show a performance that transcends her image as the ‘wife of the vice president’?

Seto appears in a supermarket parking lot in the late afternoon after buying a large amount of fresh food (November 2021).
Her expression brightened and she was staring off into the distance. She seemed to be waiting for her daughter to return (November 2021).
In an Instagram update on September 20, she said, “It’s late September…but it’s still hot.” There have been no updates since then. (From Asaka Seto’s Instagram)
  • PHOTO Keisuke Nishi

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