Avex Boss Bails Out Komuro

Komuro Tetsuya, Matsuura Masato

It seems that the music industry hasn’t given up on Komuro Tetsuya (50, photo left, profile). The second hearing in the copyright fraud trial against the popular musician and producer was held at the Osaka District Court yesterday. He has been accused of fraudulently receiving ¥500 million in payment for the rights to hundreds of songs he no longer owned. But in court yesterday it was revealed that Matsuura Masato (44, right), president of Avex Group Holdings, this week paid the plaintiff the original sum, plus ¥100 million compensation and a further ¥48 million in delay damages. This in spite of the fact that Komuro already owes him about ¥700 million he received as advances for new music. “Komuro-san is a unique melody maker. All that Avex has is thanks to him,” Matsuura said. “Without him, there would be no Hamasaki Ayumi, Koda Kumi or Exile,” he added, naming three of the biggest and most commercially successful acts in J-pop. In an attempt to keep his golden egg-laying goose out of prison, he pleaded with the judge, “We have prepared a position for him at the company directly under my control. If he is imprisoned, he will be cut off from society.” Komuro and his wife Keiko are currently staying at the home of Avex VP Chiba Ryuhei. Komuro is said to have already composed several new songs in the basement of the home.

Earlier stories:

Komuro Tetsuya Faces Arrest For Fraud (Nov 4, 2008)

More Details on Komuro Arrest (Nov 5, 2008)

Komuro Court Case Opens (Jan 21, 2009)

• Actor Otsuru Gitan (40) is planning to get remarried within the year, according to the Sankei Sports website. His fiancee is former model and talento Matsuba Reina (27), who also has movies such as “Crows Zero” (2007) on her resume. The pair met through work last December, and Matsuba quit show business at the end of the year. Otsuru has introduced his fiancee to his parents – his father is a playwright, his mother an actress. Matsuba’s parents are currently overseas for her father’s work. The timing of Otsuru’s decision to talk to the media is no doubt linked to the fact that his latest movie project is due to open in theaters on April 4. “Watashi no Naka no 8mm” is his first directorial effort in 14 years. Otsuru has a reputation as a playboy and his philandering ways led to a very public divorce from Japan-based Brazilian singer Marcia (40) in 2004. He said he was happy to hear recent reports of her romance with a dentist.

• Also getting remarried is actress Okina Megumi (29). Currently four months pregnant, she and a 29-year-old company employee are said to be planning to register their marriage in the near future. Okina was previously married for a year and a half to Fujita Susumu (35), president of the IT company Cyber Agent. She was later linked to Kasahara Kenji (33), president of Japan’s most popular social networking site Mixi.

Earlier story:

Okina Megumi Divorces (Jul 22, 2005)

Okina Megumi Dating Mixi CEO (Jul 3, 2007)

• Baseball legend Kakefu Masayuki (53) won’t be working as a TV commentator this season. One of Japan’s best known sluggers, he was called “Mister Tigers” and was a key player when the Hanshin Tigers last won a Japan Series in 1985 and he retired in 1988. Ebullient and chatty with a distinctive husky voice, he joined Yomiuri TV the following year and was a popular figure on both the sports and variety show circuit for many years. Though he was caught up in a tax evasion scandal last year, he renewed his contract with Yomiuri on New Year’s Day. But following further discussions, it was decided to terminate that agreement. The Osaka-based Yomiuri and its Tokyo subsidiary NTV refused to go into further detail, saying only that Kakefu won’t be appearing on the network this season. Part of the reason is no doubt the declining popularity of televised baseball, with the number of terrestrial broadcasts dropping each season. This year, Yomiuri will show just 33 live games.

• It looks like singer Aiko (33) has found a new love in her life, according to today’s issue of weekly magazine “Friday.” She and her new boyfriend, said to be in his 20s, were photographed together several times over the last few months. Aiko was previously in an 8-year relationship with Kokubun Taichi (34) of the Johnny’s idol group Tokio. That relationship ended in 2007.