NEWS Idol Group Member Keiichiro Koyama Takes Hiatus for Drinking with Underage Girl

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Johnny & Associates agency also reprimands group member Shigeaki Kato

The Johnny & Associates agency announced on Thursday that it has told Keiichiro Koyama from the four-member NEWS idol group to take a hiatus from all his professional activities, after the agency learned that he drank alcohol with an underage girl, and also "pressured others at the party to drink by cheering them on." The agency also "sternly reprimanded" fellow NEWS member Shigeaki Kato, who was also at the party when Koyama was drinking with the girl.

The agency said the girl was 19 years old at the time of the incident. Koyama claimed the girl said she was 20, which is the legal drinking age in Japan. Johnny & Associates said that it will have Koyama go on hiatus so he can "deeply reflect" on his actions.

The NEWS group formed in 2003 with nine members, but took a hiatus in 2006 when two of its own members were accused of underage drinking in 2005 and 2006. The group has performed theme songs for the One Piece: Mega Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle film, the second season of The File of Young Kindaichi Returns, and for the live-action television series of Yasutaka Tsutsui's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo) novel.

The idol group will release their latest single "BLUE" (pictured above right) on June 27.

Source: The Mainichi (Hisanori Yashiro)

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