Secret meetings with dignitaries at members-only bars… “TOBE” President Takizawa targets “overseas connections” and “too many unexpected patrons. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Secret meetings with dignitaries at members-only bars… “TOBE” President Takizawa targets “overseas connections” and “too many unexpected patrons.

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On October 17, Johnny’s changed its name to “SMILE-UP. The company held two press conferences in the wake of the sexual assault scandal involving the late Mr. Janney Kitagawa, but there is no sign that the furor has abated, and now it has become a major social issue, and the headwinds are only getting stronger. An employee of a key station tells us about the latest developments.

When NHK reported the possibility of not using Johnny’s talent in the Kohaku Uta Gassen, NTV and TBS announced the results of their internal investigations into the Johnny’s office. Although they are eager to regain trust by suggesting that they will hold a third press conference, no concrete compensation plan or relief measures for the 325 victims or accountability from former president Keiko Fujishima (57) and former vice president Suguru Shirahase have yet been fulfilled. Restoring public trust will not be an easy task.”

In the midst of all this, Johnny’s is trying to make a fresh start with a new company name. Meanwhile, other forces are also steadily making preparations. One of them is TOBE, of which Hideaki Takizawa, 41, is president. The entertainment desk of a sports newspaper reveals recent developments.

In addition to Ken Miyake (44), formerly of V6, and Hiromitsu Kitayama (38), formerly of Kis-My-Ft2, on October 15, Yuta Kishi (28), formerly of King & Prince, who left Johnny’s, joined the group in a blitz. In addition to the formation of the three-member group “Number_i” by Shiyou Hirano (26) and Yuta Jinguji (25), the group’s YouTube channel and fan club were officially announced. The number of talents in the group is expected to increase, and the fan club, which has already been established, has been inundated with applicants for membership.

Mr. Takizawa and TOBE are in high spirits. The person behind this momentum is an unexpected one.

Mr. Takushi Okuno of the “Gobo Party” drew attention for the “bouquet-throwing” fiasco against Mayweather. He is by no means only clean, but …… (from the party’s official website)

The person is Mr. Takushi Okuno, who is the representative of the political organization “Gobo no Tada” (Gobo’s Party). A desk clerk of a national newspaper’s society department spoke about Mr. Okuno.

He launched the “Burdock Party” in June last year and became its leader. He is a businessman who is involved in the management of a number of companies, and is especially well known as the president of a company that handles a brand in the Hall of Fame of @cosme, Japan’s largest comprehensive information site on cosmetics and beauty.

While he has a wealth of contacts in the political, government, and business worlds, he also has a wide range of friends in the entertainment industry, including actors Takayuki Yamada (39), Shohei Miura (35), GACKT (50), and Taka (35), vocalist of “One OK Rock,” as well as atsushi Tamura (49) of London Boots No. 1 and 2 and former “News” member Tomohisa Yamashita (38). I have relationships with them.

Among them, the relationship with Mr. Takizawa is particularly close.

In July of this year, Okuno posted on his Twitter account, “I have an old friend named Hideaki Takizawa. We have been friends for about 15 years now. This is Tackey, who recently quit Johnny’s and started a new company. I call him Hide-san out of respect as his older brother who is 8 years younger than him. He is the type of person who can wait patiently for the right moment. He is a man of patience and courage. Mr. Takizawa is also active as a “volcano explorer,” and Mr. Okuno fully supports his activities.

Mr. Takizawa is also active as a volcano explorer, and Mr. Okuno fully backs up his activities. He is one of Mr. Takizawa’s biggest patrons, and they are developing their activities in a tripartite manner. A source in the entertainment industry gives an inside view.

Mr. Takizawa has been making the most of Mr. Okuno’s connections at the exclusive members-only salon in Ginza that Mr. Okuno manages, and he has been making sales calls quite frequently to people in the political and business worlds. The aim is to solidify the support base of Mr. Takizawa and “TOBE” and to extend financial support and other backup.

On the other hand, they are also making diligent sales efforts not only in Japan but also overseas, with a particular focus on building a pipeline to Dubai. Since Mr. Takizawa assumed the position of “UAE-Japan Goodwill Ambassador” in ’17 to perform public relations-related duties to promote friendship between Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he has worked hard to build a network of local contacts, and Mr. Okuno has played a role in providing backup here as well. Many wealthy Dubaiites and other influential supporters came forward one after another, and he was able to obtain ample funds. Despite the severe headwinds facing Johnny’s, Mr. Takizawa and Mr. Okuno are vigilantly watching for the best chance of a lifetime.

TOBE is steadily increasing its talent pool. Will TOBE really be able to change the power structure of the entertainment industry? The possibilities for further surprises are endless.

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  • PHOTO Makoto Kuwata

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