Original Japanese article here.


Hamasaki Ayumi Lightning Divorce 1 Year After Marriage, Disaster an Excuse for Reluctance to Leave Japan
17 January 2012.

Late at night on the 16th, singer Hamasaki Ayumi (33) announced her decision to divorce Austrian-born actor Manuel Shwarz (31) on her fanclub site. The two of them registered their marriage in Las Vegas, America, on New Year’s Day last year. The divorce came just one year after their marriage.

According to comments on her site, Hamasaki’s first step will be to file for divorce on the 16th (17th in Japan Time). “I alone was the cause for this. When we got married, we decided together that we were going to stay in the US, but when the Tohoku Earthquake Disaster happened 2 months later, a strong feeling of reluctance to leave Japan grew inside me, and I could not imagine myself living in the US. In the end, my husband was left by himself as the days went by,” she explained.

On top of that, she also added, “We often talked to each other and compromised, thinking we could just breach the physical distance by travelling to see each other, but before we knew it, the emotional distance had grown too large. When I think of the future now, I can’t return to the person I used to be, the one who decided to migrate to the US. My future is to do something for Japan, and since I cannot see a future in the US with my husband, we have come to this decision.”

During August of 2010, the two met at Los Angeles, when they starred together in the PV for “Virgin Road” from “Love songs” album, and immediately hit it off. They announced their marriage on New Year’s Day last year. At that time, Hamasaki happily announced, “We are truly at the closest place to forever right now. Mannie, who acted as my hubby in Virgin Road, is going to become my real-life hubby!!!!!”