Toma Ikuta leaves the former Johnny & Associates

9 Nov - Two weeks after Kazunari Ninomiya left Johnny & Associates, the company lost another big name in the likes of actor Toma Ikuta.

On 7 November, the company, which is now using the name SMILE-UP, announced the news, saying that the "Hanazakari no Kimitachi e" actor will be leaving the company on 20 November.

"From now on, he will not be affiliated with the production company and other units, and will continue to act as a freelance actor. We want to inform fans and related people who have always supported Ikuta about this matter that we sincerely apologise," the company stated.

It also explained, "Currently, our company is gradually introducing the newly established company to its artistes and discussing future contracts. While discussing with the company, Ikuta re-examined his future career development blueprint and finally decided not to sign with the new company. The management contract and agency contract have led to the current conclusion."

Toma, who had been with the talent management company since he was 11 years old, also announced the news and thanked the management as well as fans who have been supporting his career all this time.

"From now on, I will be independent and continue to act as a freelance actor. I will improve myself even more. Please give me your continued support in the future," he added.

The company had undergone many changes since the past sexual abuses and paedopholia of late founder Johnny Kitagawa came to light.

The actor will be flying solo for the time being
The actor will be flying solo for the time being

(Photo Source: Post TV Asahi, Nante Japan)