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    Kago Ai smoking issue

    By ikiNews

    She was caught smoking on a restaurant. In Japan you can’t smoke until you’re 20.

    What happened first ?

    Ai Kago, ex-Morning Musume and nowadays one half of the group W, was caught smoking the night of January 27th in a restaurant. A paparazzi photographed her with two friends, a young model, and a middle aged man. Friday’s coverage of the event will hit the stands on Feb. 10. Friday is a magazine specialized in celebrities scandals.

    What’s the deal ?

    Ai Kago is 18 years old. In Japan you can’t smoke until you’re 20. In other words, it’s not the fact of being smoking, it’s the fact about having broken the law because she is not twenty years old.

    Consequences (02.15 Updated)

    Ai Kago has been suspended indefinitely. She is not leaving H!P, but she is taking a break.

    Hello!Morning filmed shows will be edited, cutting out Ai Kago parts.

    Tokamachi snow festival on 2/18 rejected W’s participation / It also coincides with Ai Kago’s break time.

    UFA -Up Front Agency- (The management agency) suspended the event at the Pacific Heaven Hotel fanclub event.

    UFW -Up Front Works- (The record company) cancelled W’s upcoming releases because it would have made it extremely difficult to go ahead with the schedule as planned. The releases will be launched when Ai Kago will be back.

    UPW is said to lose over 100 million yens already invested in W’s upcoming releases: production, events and promotion. The only way to get the money back would be saving W’s new single and album for an eventually comeback after Aibon’s punishment.

    Ai Kago has been removed from the cast of Ribon no Kishi.

    Ai Kago will not take part in the Sports Festival.

    UFA cancelled Ai Kago appearance at the Hello Pro Party.

    Friday Magazine and its pictures

    Clik to open the site in a new window

    Jphip Ikimasshoi message

    Ai Kago’s act against Japan’s smoking law is totally disapproved, and she has been already punished with her suspension. It’s understandable: An idol has a huge influence on youth and must take care in some habits. Despite of this issue, Ai Kago has been entertaining lots of fans for a long time. She’s human, everybody commits errors, and it’s her first time being involved in a scandal. That’s why we support her full comeback as well as W’s continuity. We pray for a quick resolution for her affair that could satisfy her fans. She’s taking a break now, but we totally support her continuity in Hello!Project and that’s why we are looking forward to her comeback along with Tsuji and their group W.

    Our best wishes.

    28 Responses to this post
    1. ikiNews Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

      How do you feel about this ?
      Vote in the poll and give your comments here!

      It’s seriously sad the way how press humiliates idols.

    2. Amber Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 3:53 pm

      Really!? I think that should be her own business, and that she should not be persecuted (or ’suspended’) for it.. but after what they did with Yaguchi I’m really not surprised.

    3. Mark Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 3:56 pm

      Actually, Yaguchi wanted to quit. Ayaya was caught with her boyfriend and nothing happened.

    4. Leanne Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 5:51 pm

      The thing is, I think idols get pressured so much to look perfect and innocent is because they are strong role models for younger generation (and maybe b.c of the lolicomplex, too, lol). Smoking while underage isn’t an “idol” act because it doesn’t present the image of a model girl. Well, that’s my understanding of the idol industry.

    5. Mark Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 7:39 pm

      Exactly. Moreover, W’s target are teens, so Aibon has turned to be a bad influence. Even though she’s 18, it is still a bad thing to do and to be known when you’re famous. Girls at 13, 15, 18 smoke in Japan. Nobody cares. But if you’re famous and you break the law, even if it’s for something ridiculous and small, this is what you get. So far Aibon is gonna stay at home with her parents. Only time will tell if she will go back or not.

    6. shirenu Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 8:15 pm

      Man, it’d only be good for her (and other H!P girls) to not smoke. Their bodies would be happy, their fans would be happy, and I can’t see what’s SO important about smoking that people need to do it in the first place. Well, until it crosses the point of becoming an addiction. Anyway, suspension is a valid punishment - she broke the law, she chose to smoke that cancer stick, so it’s her fault -> she needs to take responsibility. When you become an idol in Japan you need to handle the responsibility that comes with it. After 6 or so years in the business I’d expect Aibon to be able to understand and do that. But of course I want to see Aibon back working as soon as possible, too… Her face is the reason I became interested in MM and I’d rather see that face smiling than serious and apologetic~

    7. HANABI.1984 Said:
      February 9th, 2006 at 9:32 pm

      This is rather shocking. Poor Aibon. Of all things, smoking? It’s such a dusgusting habit.

      Anyway, I know it’s not the time to crack jokes, but when I was talking with my cousin…It came to me that maybe it was because of the smoking is why she lost that weight. LOL I’m bad, I know.

    8. Mark Said:

      Up Front Works is not gonna throw one single and one album to the rubbish. One month after the release everything is done, packed and ready to be sent. I guess they will wait for a calm moment, like happened with Nacchi. Aibon will show up with Tsunku “I’m sorry, please keep supporting me and W” and that will be all. Just be patient until that moment.

    9. Ti Said:
      February 10th, 2006 at 11:33 am

      What annoys me is that people on boards and the like seem to be ignorning the issue and rambling about smoking when that’s not the point at all.
      She’s underage in Japan and that makes her smoking illegal. She’s in trouble because she broke the law not because she was lighting up.
      Nobody would care if Yossi or Miki went out drinking, but if Reina or even 19-year-old Takahashi did, there would be hell to pay because they’re underage and breaking the law.
      It’s not like Kago is being severely punished. It’s just as if she got caught by her parents - she’s basically been grounded by her agency.

      It’s too soon to tell what will happen with Tsuji during Kago’s punishment. She’ll either fall to the wayside, get a huge surge of work, or carry on with Gatas and such like nothing happened.

    10. Japonaliya Said:

      As I said more, or less in another blog…
      What hippocrates…Aibon censured for under-aged smoking, while teen and pre-teen idols parade around half-naked in PBs and DVDs you can find displayed in any big bookshop like Kinokuniya or Maruen, And, I am talking about PRE-teens 6-12 sai…who IS buing these books and DVDs? WHO goes to H!P concerts on the whole?? And…lets just take Momusu’s Irropoi Jerettai single, featuring 12 year old Koharu….The title means (approx) impatient for sex..and with lyrics like My heart throbs when you touch me, and I need more of your hot, burning kisses on this sexy island..can you imagine a 12 year old singing a song like THAT in the US ??? It would be on every cable news channel, Mr. Bill, Pat B, H&C, etc. would have a field day..Tsunku woule have to flee the US and be roomates with Roman Polanski in Paris… Ye, in Japan THIS is fine, but heaven forbid the little sex-pots get caught puffing a fag…..

    11. eyn Said:

      I think this shouldn’t be connected with the sex issue here. We all know Japanese is a little open about the whole sex thing, so as long as they have a law that said what can be done and what cannot be done, by all means just obey it, it’s their own country’s rules.

      Kago Ai smoking in my opinion is she looking for trouble. Why smoke when it’s bad for your health? Not just that, you’re a celebrity and you know if you do it you gonna get caught, and she still did. Don’t blame the paparazzi (yes they are annoying), at least they didn’t slander her for something she did not do.

      My conclusion: she deserved to be punished. If you smoke at school, you got punished because it’s against the rules. Same thing applies here. The bottom line is she did smoke while underage.

    12. KumiChan Said:

      Each country is a world in particular. Sex, weapons, tobacco… democracy laws differ depending on which country does them. US, Eruope, Russia, Asia… are so different. I agree that there are more punish-able things from a morality point of view. But as said, each country has different laws. The point is that Aibon broke it. At any rate, it’s a pity. I also want W back. It’s rumored that the break will be as long as Nacchi’s, two months, and then the single and album W3 will be released. I hope so.

    13. Japonaliya Said:

      We all know Japanese is a little open about the whole sex thing…

      That is my point…Why is Japan so open about under-age sexuality when the same attitude in the US will land you in jail, or at least shunned by almost everyone, but have such a hissy-fit about a few drags on a cig? Something seems way out of proportion here. Also, if the idea is to have their “idols” above reproach, and lily-white, why can the Japanese be so accepting of the obvious middle-aged otaku who are the main consumers of the “idol” products ? Yes, under-aged smoking is agaist the law, but I am comparing the apparent hipocricy of what the Japanese choose to raise their eybrows to…
      A PB & DVD of a 13 year old, leg-spread, pantie showing, pop-sucking Shihono Ryou is so ok that when I walked in to Maruen one day in Nihonmachi, she was palstered all over the front windows..but an 18 year old puffing on a SO shocking that it makes major news???
      If Kago’s parents shouild be concerned, how about Shihono’s parents…knowing that their barely teenaged daughter’s PB with her legs spread on the cover, is sitting on the coffie tables of thousands of men old enought to be her o’jisan !!!

    14. AyuReady Said:

      You’re right, you’re so right. Something IS way out of proportion. But it happens everywhere, and everything involves your age: to have sex, to have guns, to travel, to smoke, to buy cigarettes, whatever. But please, don’t reduce all idols to teenagers and all fans to teenager lovers. That would be a big mistake. A bunch of them refuse all those semi-perv PBs. That would be like saying that every kida and teen in the US have a gun on their pocket.
      Back to Aibon’s case, I’d say that the press “must” report it because it’s a celebrity breaking the law. That’s all. We can’t turn this into a Japan’s loliness documentary. Nevermind the cigarette. She’s famous and she was caught doing something she can’t do. Like Hollywood actors surpassing the road speed limit, get drunk and do some argument or hooliganism… Things that many people would do under the same circumstances, but famous people make the news because they are celebrities. Same with Aibon.

    15. Syaoran Said:

      Right, “Japan’s loliness”, as you say, would be a good topic to chat about, but it drifts away from the main Aibon affair. So I suggest to talk about it in the forum (Link above, in the head bar).

      I also think that all the coverage in Japan about this issue is exaggerated. However, she’s famous and she broke the law. This is enough. As happened with NEWS member that got drunk. Every place is different from another one. Maybe for them it is hypocrite not to have an idol industry, or let the banks gift a gun to their users, etcetera. Let’s focus on Aibon topic. I also read at JPH!P the thing about “only two months break” and I hope it’s true.

    16. shirenu Said:

      Yes, the current MM should only perform innocent and childish songs because one of the members is 13. Nevermind the fact that half of them are over 18 and two of them over 20. HOOHOO.

    17. Japonaliya Said:
      February 10th, 2006 at 10:05 pm

      I agree with you guys in essance. I still think there is something to what i said, but i also agree that it might be drifting a bit from the Aibon topic…But, as a last word…
      Even if a lot of H!P members are older, the fact that at least some are under 14, still makes singing songs like IJ strange to say the least. and.. I didn’t say childish songs..but I need your hot burning kisses is a bit over the top for a group that has a good number of it’s members under the age of concsent.
      I don’t think loliness is so much OT when I am using it to illustrate mt point of the differnt tolerances within Japanese society. However, I will post no more about this and let others have their say..

    18. annoy Said:


    19. Amber Said:

      I don’t think “Iroppoi Jirettai” really means “impatient for sex”, though..

    20. Miko Said:

      LOL yea, it’s a possibility that they would hv sex right after that. but man, she looked so innocent yet she is sinned countlessly

    21. shougo Said:

      Aibon totally screwed W over! What about poor Tsuji? She cant do anything until Aibon is recovered from her suspension

    22. Kira Said:

      just let it be..i dont like that fat girl anyways

    23. ikiNews Said:

      Actually, W has still scheduled their trip to Hawaii at the end of March and their appearance at the Hello Prop Party concert. The press (and everyone) is assuming that she’s taking a break consisting of a month or so, and then it’s said that she’d be back on Hello!Project Sports Festival.

      UFW said that the CDs were delayed because it would have been too difficult to follow the schedule with Aibon on suspension for a month. In other words, the 7th single and W3 will be released a few days later after Ai Kago rejoins the activity.

    24. Asperitas Said:
      February 14th, 2006 at 11:57 am

      I really hate papparazi, all they do is ruin peoples carreers. Smoking should be your own responsibility (over here it doesn’t matter when you smoke, but you can’t buy tobacco under 16)

    25. Letaibonsing! Said:

      Bah. This is foolishness. As if every other 18 year old in japan wasnt smoking. And im sure all the middle aged lechers who make up the core of H!P’s domestic audience are all puffing away too. Its the height of hypocrisy.

      It sickens me that something as trivial as this can put Aibon’s career in jeopardy after all the hard work she has done.

    26. Matyeu Said:

      Hum… I dunno if people who wrote this article know… but her appearance to the sport festival has been cancelled. Maybe will she be suspended for more than a month

    27. ikiNews Said:

      Yes, thanks. We updated it right now :)

    28. Gaijin22 Said:
      February 20th, 2006 at 11:05 am

      I love W and Aibon, and i was shocked when i heard about the AI acandal. I saw pictures of japanese people burnung Kago’s pictures. That’s so stupid, i gues moast of them try’ed they’r first cigaterre before they where 20. Sure smoking is a bad habbit but what Up Front Works is doing is the worst thing that could happen. I hope Kago is back soon. I will support her ewen more when she’s back. (Sorry for my bad english)

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