Former SPEED member Eriko Imai involved in alleged infidelity scandal

Another day, another infidelity scandal in the Japanese entertainment scene. This time it involves former singer and politician Eriko Imai. 

The news broke in the latest issue of the tabloid “Weekly Shincho”, which hit store shelves today. The magazine reported that there was suspicion of infidelity between Eriko and a member of the Kobe city council named Koichi Miyuki. Eriko swiftly responded to the report on her official blog, writing a lengthy entry trying to explain the situation. Eriko owned up to the commotion the news caused stating “I deeply apologize for any inconvenience caused by my bad behavior”.

Koichi is currently separated from his wife, they no longer live together. It’s been said that the couples divorce is under “mediation” status, which basically means they’re figuring out how to end the marriage as amicably and cost effective as possible. Eriko did take issue with the tabloid referring to the affair as “infidelity”, outright saying that it was not the case in her blog entry. However netizens argue that while Koichi and his wife might be going through the divorce process, on paper they are still officially husband and wife.

Photo of the two obtained by tabloid

Eriko further commented she will reflect on her decisions and understands how disappointed people must be in her. She promised to take full action in recovering the trust of her supporters. She closed the blog entry saying “Above all I would like to thank all of you who have continued to support me to this day, and my son who I love the most in the this world”.

Reactions to the news have been mixed. Eriko’s blog is full of supportive messages, while quite a few netizens feel that she should resign from her political position. Eriko made her debut in 1996 as one of the main vocalists of the girl group SPEED. They went on to become one of the most successful acts of the 90s, earning a string of #1 singles and selling over 20 million units in under four years. Once SPEED disbanded she embarked on a solo career. Recently, Eriko entered the political scene and last year she successfully won a spot in Japan’s Upper House seat.

(Yahoo jp & dailyshincho)

  • Comments

    • PigeonPop

      It’s been a pretty busy week for Japanese politics. Eriko’s alleged scandal, Renho stepping down, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada expected to announce her resignation in a few hours…

    • H

      The 8,327th in the past couple of years. Yawn.

    • The Dark Dudette

      If the relationship began while she was planning to legally go separate ways anyway, I don’t see the problem . I might be misunderstanding things here though.

      • ProllyWild

        It’s less about the situation and more about the timing. If there hadn’t been a string of infidelity scandals, this wouldn’t be big news…..

        • The Dark Dudette

          Agreed. My western viewpoint is speaking here but divorce takes a while, sometimes even years. People casually dating while they are still figuring things out with their (soon to be ex) spouse isn’t exactly wrong, uncommon or unheard of. So I understand why she takes issue with their relationship being termed as ‘infedility’

    • Hellokatzeee

      Other than Hitoe, all of the former members of SPEED have had terrible luck in their careers since the group disbanded.

      • I always wondered why they disbanded tbh. They were so successful not only in Japan but in Asia as well. I thought the members must be tired or dislike each other but when they come together again to release a single a few years back, they seemed fine with each other…

        • circe154

          Their agency may have thought they’d make more off them as solo artists than as a group. That’s what everyone thought when the Spice Girls broke up.

          • Then their agency is kind of stupid if they think that way. They are popular because of their name and brand group, not because they individually popular all by themselves SMH

    • Hmm, oh. If the divorce is being finalized and the wife is not upset/angry about this….I don’t see the problem. If he was divorcing his wife because of speed-girl then!

      • Zoe

        The wife released statements through her attorney refuting several of her husband’s claims. The implication definitely seems to be that Eriko is the catalyst for the divorce.

    • yamakita

      I love that in Japan you are guilty until proven guilty. And the endless apologies ensue.

    • HyperMoot .

      I thought speed dating was legal !?

    • Owari Konoyono

      In the municipal report of Kobe City issued in June last year before the upper house election, a dialogue with Hashimoto by her was posted.
      For the reason, production fee of about 300,000 yen was paid from Hashimoto’s political activity expenses.
      This is more problematic.