The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, with many Japanese companies leaving Tokyo for rural areas. According to Shukan Bunshun, the talent agency Amuse is one such company. Amuse, home to the likes of Perfume, Hoshino Gen, BABYMETAL, Southern All Stars, and Masaharu Fukuyama, is moving its headquarters to the base of Mount Fuji.
“Sales were comparable to Johnny & Associates and Yoshimoto Kogyo, reaching a record ¥58,806,000,000 in fiscal year 2019,” says an entertainment journalist. “Most of the revenue comes from concerts, theatrical peformances, and commercials, all of which have been seriously damaged by the pandemic. Sales are expected to decrease by nearly ¥20,000,000,000 in fiscal year 2020, which ends in March 2021.”
The pandemic has also changed how the Amuse staff works, with remote work being the focus according to an Amuse official, who described the company’s Shibuya skyscraper headquarters as a “ghost office.” Despite most work now being done from home, Amuse is still paying ¥50,000,000 a month in rent.
To alleviate this financial burden, a plan has been discussed since last year to move some of the headquarters’ functions to rural areas, according to the same Amuse official. One of these rural areas is possibly in Yamanashi Prefecture, at the base of Mount Fuji, the area around Lakes Kawaguchi and Saiko to be precise. The move will be as early as this April, with Amuse already finding a three story building through a real estate agency.
Shukan Bunshun asked Amuse directly about this supposed move from Tokyo, but they did not repsond by the article’s deadline. The issue of Shukan Bunshun out January 14 will feature more details about Amuse’s move from Tokyo, as well as “regional revitalization” project that the company’s founder, Osato Yokichi, has been focused on.