Morning Musume member Abe Natsumi (23) made an apologetic comeback on Monday. She was on two months forced leave after it was revealed in November that she had plagiarized other people’s work in a book of essays and on radio appearances. Natchi gave a press conference in Tokyo together with MM and Hello! Project producer Tsunku. Both bowed deeply six times as a show of their remorse. She will make her first return to the stage on Friday.
• At the Tokyo District Court, disgraced celebrity Tashiro Masashi (48) was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment. He was serving a suspended sentence for drug possession when he was caught with amphetamines and marijuana in September and arrested for the fourth time. His wife has also started divorce proceedings against him.
• TV commentator and sports journalist Masuda Akemi (41) has married a 40-year old financial planner. The two met through musician SunPlaza Nakano last October. Masuda represented Japan in the marathon at the 1980 Los Angeles Olympics.