Original Article from Sponichi Annex here.

Thanks to miskiq@AHS for sharing.


Severe consequences for ayu for last-minute cancellation, avex states this as “setting a bad example”

Hamasaki Ayumi (32), who did a last-minute cancellation of her performance on TV Asahi’s “Music Station”‘s 25th Anniversary Special Programme on the 16th, returned to Japan via Narita Airport, from Las Vegas in the US on the night of the 17th. For this breach unbecoming of a top singer, Hamasaki offered a “deep apology”. On one hand, her record company avex had also hinted at punishment, stating that she will be “dealt with harshly”. There is a possibility that she may be forced to take a break, in order to refresh her mind and body.

At around 7pm, Hamasaki returned on a Singapore Airlines flight, with transit in Los Angeles. Surrounded by staff members at Narita Airport, she apologized with a “I truly deeply apologize for this incident”. She sounded worn out, talking in a small voice. Under her mask, she exuded a tough appearance, as if reflecting on this serious breach and loss of not appearing on the Anniversary Programme of this popular music show which had supported her performances since her debut in 1998.

Regarding the last-minute cancellation, a source from avex stated that “ayu has a special existence within our company, as a “goddess of restoration”. However, because she did not manage herself well this time, letting her off will be setting a bad example for the younger artistes. We have no choice but to deal with her harshly”. Last month, at the company’s live event 「a-nation」, she also got into a confrontation with the organizing staff about performance issues. As a distinguished artiste within the company, most of her demands had been granted, but this is the first time since her debut 14 years ago that this “Queen of no-pretense” has to be put back into the position which she has come to forget.

On this day, to questions about her health, Hamasaki replied with a weak “Not yet…”, and nodded thanks to words of encouragement. In these 13 years, this remarkable song princess has run non-stop with all her might, pulling avex along for the ride. In this memorable year which started with lightning announcements of her “marriage”, her future activities may start to meet with heavy resistance, and she may be forced to take a break to have a complete, slow rest.