Tomoya Nagase, a member of the Japanese all-male pop group Tokio, will leave the group next March, its talent agency said Wednesday, marking the departure of yet another member from the original group of five.
The 41-year-old is leaving to "work behind-the-scenes to create a new type of job from scratch," Johnny & Associates Inc. said in a statement.
Tokio made its music debut in 1994 as a five-member group, but the number dropped to four after the company terminated the contract of Tatsuya Yamaguchi, 48, for forcibly kissing a female high school student at his home in 2018.
Even after the scandal, the remaining four members have been serving as ambassadors to promote the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Following Nagase's departure next year, the remaining three members of the group -- leader Shigeru Joshima, 49, Taichi Kokubun, 45, and 43-year-old Masahiro Matsuoka -- will establish a new company in April under the name "Tokio," which will operate in affiliation with the agency.
Remaining active on the music scene, Tokio perform live concerts and also appear on television, especially variety shows.