January 19, 2016
Apologies don't come more public than this. SMAP stood united to apologise to the Japanese public on January 18 via Fuji TV.
Kimura Takuya opened by saying, "we have caused a public uproar...we thought it was important for five of us together to explain to everyone."
Then the individual members took turns to express their regret and also to assure fans that they'd stay together.
Source: Tokyo Hive
Update ***** January 18, 2016
Good news for SMAP fans. The 4 members who have vowed to go their separate ways have decided to stay together. According to Sankei Sports, Kimura Takyua -- the only member who vowed to remain with Johnny's -- initiated the talk with Johnny's big boss. Takuya was working on a film, but left location to return to Tokyo to negotiate the matters after his 4 band members threatened to walk away.
Apparently, fans' pleas for the group to stay together also had some sway with the members. In all, the band will disband no more and will return as a group on January 21. Crisis averted.
Source: Xports News
January 11, 2016
Following reports on January 12, that 4 of the 5 SMAP members (Nakai Masahiro, Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Katori Shingo) will leave the agency, Johnny & Associates have also confirmed the rumour.
In a statement sent out the agency said, “Recently, there was a report regarding some SMAP members' leaving and their manager's resignation... It is true that we are having consultation and negotiations about the matter, however, we cannot answer any detailed inquiries yet."
Apparently the four members are leaving with their 58-year-old female manager, who they’ve often described as a “foster parent.” Meanwhile, Kimura Takuya said he’d stay with Johnny.
Heralded as Japan’s most successful idol group, the band has been together since 1988.
Similar to TVXQ, even with the majority of members leaving, the name of the band will remain with the agency as they won the copyright.
Source: Tokyo Hive