The “VIP Entertainment” of Arashi’s Hawaii Media Tour Rehashed on the Johnny’s Issue Verification Program. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “VIP Entertainment” of Arashi’s Hawaii Media Tour Rehashed on the Johnny’s Issue Verification Program.

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The “entertainment” took place at Arashi’s performance in Hawaii in 2002.

It has been pointed out that the media’s “discovery” of the former Johnny’s office (now SMILE-UP.) was one of the reasons why the issue of sexual assault by the former Johnny’s office has not been brought to the public’s attention for many years. All TV stations have aired programs to verify the past relationship with the former Johnny’s. In November, TBS aired a report on the sexual assault case of the former Johnny’s office (SMILE-UP.) in November 26. TBS aired a verification program on November 26.

The content of the program was a report on the results of a survey conducted by a special investigative committee established by TBS on 139 executives and former executives of TBS TV and radio stations. The report included the testimony of a former Jr. who claimed to have been a victim of sexual abuse in the TBS bureau, and the case of an idol group member who was being hounded by other media outlets for a scandal and was forced to leave the station in its own parking lot.

He also admitted that several members of the group went on a “business trip” in connection with the “ARASHI BLAST in Hawaii” held in Hawaii on September 20 and 21, 2002 (Japan Standard Time), and revealed that the travel and lodging expenses were paid for by Johnny’s. It was also revealed that the travel and lodging expenses were paid for by Johnny’s. A TV station official testified as follows.

All the TV stations and all the media, mainly the sports papers, were invited to the tour. The airplanes were business class, and the hotels were of the highest class. The meals were basically paid for by Johnny’s. It was the best treatment we could have received. The tour was limited to four to five hours at most during the performance and travel time. Nevertheless, the entire tour lasted five days and three nights, so they must have had quite a bit of time on their hands.

At the time, each sports paper reported extensively on this performance. TV programs such as “Arashi 15-nen-me no Kokuhaku: Live & Document” (NHK Sogo), “VS Arashi” (Fuji TV), “Arashi ni Shyagare” (NTV), and “Sakurai Ariyoshi Abunai Yakai” (TBS, now “Sakurai Ariyoshi The Night Party”) all closely followed the backstage.

In “VS Arashi,” the five members went shopping alone and spent time at a cottage because it was a consolation party for the concert. Also, “Abunai Yakai” closely followed Sakurai’s hotel room and shopping.

The staff members of the various programs who arrived at the site were too busy with their work to have the luxury of being entertained. What was problematic was that the staff members of the upper management who did not work in the area also entered the area and were “entertained.

According to an article at the time, several major Japanese travel agencies organized tours to see the performance and fans arrived there in large numbers. The economic effect of Arashi was said to be 2 billion yen.

The total cost of travel and accommodations for the media on the invitational tour was said to be about 1 million yen per person. However, the economic effect on the former Johnny’s’s office and the cost-effectiveness of the media exposure related to the Hawaii show would have made it a small price to pay.

While there has been criticism that the verification of TV stations is insufficient, the TBS verification program is in-depth in that it cites specific cases. However, many people still say that it is not enough.

In the case of the Hawaii tour, the most important thing that viewers, staff members, and other media want to know is what kind of “VIP entertainment” the participants received there. If we were to reveal the details without concealment, some “out of the ordinary” information might come out, but keeping it under wraps at this time would only be a negative for the station.

The media people who went to Hawaii are very tight-lipped, and it is difficult to know the details. According to a story that has been leaked to us, during the daytime, when they were not covering the performances, there was a shopping tour for the media, where various “favors” were given to them. In the evenings, the staff of the former Johnny’s TV stations and sports newspapers would split up and “entertain” each other.

If such a situation existed, it would be difficult to objectively call it a “business trip,” and that is what TBS and other TV stations should examine.

The “business entertainment” issue in Hawaii has now been rehashed, sparked by the sexual assault issue. Those in the media who traveled to Hawaii at the time and enjoyed the delicacies may be chilled to the bone.

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Arashi” appeared at an event in Tokyo in December ’20. This is a rare shot of the five members together just before they went on hiatus.
  • PHOTO Shinji Hasuo

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