SMAP Declines Request to Appear on Kohaku Uta Gassen

On December 23, SMAP’s agent announced that the group turned down a request from NHK to appear on this year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen. Instead of making their final appearance as a group on the show, which airs the same day they disband after being together for 25 years, their final appearance will be on the final episode of SMAP x SMAP. The show’s finale airs on December 26, after 20 years on the air.

In a letter addressed to the producers of Kohaku Uta Gassen released the same day by Johnny & Associates, the members of SMAP expressed thanks for the request and said “each of us thought hard about how our last stage should be.”

“We came to the conclusion we would like to make SMAP x SMAP our last stage because we have worked with its staff for the past 20 years and all five of us have appeared on it regularly,” said the letter dated December 19. The names of SMAP and its five members were written at the end of the letter.

However, the “last stage” is likely to be a taped one, as show business sources said the members will not appear live on the final episode of the variety show.

NHK’s public relations department commented that although NHK is disappointed by the decision, the broadcaster is grateful for SMAP having appeared on Kohaku 23 times in the past and added excitement to the show.

After Johnny & Associates announced in August that SMAP will disband at the end of this year, NHK President Momii Katsuto said, “SMAP is huge. Naturally, I want them to appear” in reference to Kohaku Uta Gassen. He also said he was willing to personally negotiate with the band’s representatives to make it happen.


  • Comments

    • james

      The last stage was taped instead of being live, kind of pissed me off.

      like REALLY!?

    • Eri


    • not surprising tbh
      • Queen_Of_The_Yokai537

        LMFAO XD this is pretty funny! I have to admit XD.

    • annie

      there’s literally have no time left as a group but johnny’s (or smap themselves) aren’t even catering to the fans’ hopes are they

      • Risa

        Almost nothing over this last year has been handled by SMAP themselves. This is all Julie/Mary.

      • michi

        just so you know. NONE of SMAP fans ever hope for them to appear on Kouhaku or have any huge extravaganza finale concert or event before the disbandment. What SMAP fans want is for them to cancel the disbandment and continue on as SMAP (and quit J&A as soon as they can). It was stated very clear in that petition signed by 373K fans, in which J&A refused to accept it in the first place so the fans just showed up at the office along with Asahi Shimbun reporters and camera crews forcing the agency to accept the petition.

        • annie

          thanks for clarifying
          i didn’t even know there was a petition wow

          • Risa

            Yes, what Michi says is true. The petition gained over 370,000 signatures in just a few short weeks and J&A refused to respond to the petition or accept it. Until the press got involved.
            As a fan of SMAP, as Michi says, I also want them to cancel the disband.

            • Rin

              but i dont understand if they want to disband nobody can force them to stay together so why petition?

              • Risa

                Perhaps it isn’t SMAP choosing to disband. Either way the petition and the sales of Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana makes a public statement of support for SMAP.

    • honey girl

      A faxed letter, a taped finale, declining Kohaku, bare minimum promo for SMAP 25 Years…LMAO no fucks given!

    • TruthSpeaker

      ARAMA,please be faster to report news. This news came out two days back.

      • I have a life outside of here, sorry!

        • TruthSpeaker

          I am sure there are other contributors here in ARAMA who could have done this job.

          • guest

            That would require the other contributors giving a fuck about SMAP, which they clearly don’t.

            • guest

              Whether they give a fuck or not, it’s still news that should be reported. Just another sign of Arama’s lack of professionalism へ‿(ツ)‿ㄏ

    • Navin

      Kohaku desperately trying to get those viewer ratings.

    • Nick

      Guess J&A came up with this letter ready to go by the 19th but waited until 23rd to release it to confirm that the negotiations failed. That is after some interviews from an NHK rep and Kohaku producer still saying negotiations were going on around the 20th/21st.

    • cheng xiao’s forehead

      Nice. one less johnnys group.

      • guest

        Don’t worry, a new one will probably debut in 2018.

        • Meutia S Aishah

          I’m waiting for that kind of announcement in their countdown this year

    • omg

      RIP SMAP

    • Summersplash

      I still dont get the reason for their disbandment. Can’t they just use indefinite hiatus? They must reaaalllly hate Mary, to give her, basically the finger