Pop star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi arrested

Two firms pull commercials starring the actor-singer

TOKYO -- Japanese pop superstar Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, a member of the leading group SMAP, was arrested early Thursday morning for indecent exposure. Police found Kusanagi in a park near the nightlife district of Roppongi in Tokyo and he was reportedly completely naked and heavily intoxicated.

The 34-year-old singer is among the most high-profile entertainers in Japan, both as a singer and an actor, appearing in numerous films, TV shows and commercials. SMAP, currently a quintet signed to Victor Entertainment, has released more than 30 singles and 20 albums in their 18-year career.

SMAP scored their first No. 1 hit in 1994 with "Hey, Hey Ookini Maidoari!" and the acts has been a leading force in J-pop since that time. SMAP's 2003 single "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" has moved over 2.5 million units.

Their popular TV show SMAPxSMAP has kept the band in the limelight and Kusanagi has built a huge Korean fan base as well by learning to speak Korean fluently, and singing in the language.

Kusanagi had at least three TV commercials in rotation in Japan at the time of his arrest; pharmaceutical company P&G and auto giant Toyota have already pulled their ads with him. TV stations, at the request of the Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting, are to halt an announcement concerning digital broadcasting that features Kusanagi.
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