News has broken that Morimoto Ryutaro has been caught in an underage smoking scandal. A magazine printed photos that clearly showed him smoking when he was 15 and 14 years old.
Johnny's has made an official announcement on the matter stating that Ryutaro confirmed he smoked from time to time in the past. Because it accounts for breaking the law as he is now on indefinite hiatus from working in the entertainment industry.
Arama round up of reports. (English)
It is uncertain how this will affect him and Hey! Say! JUMP in the long term.
Honestly I just feel disappointed. I had thought that HSJ had a good chance of going scandal free for underage smoking/drinking with half of the group of legal age for those things now and the rest not too far behind. And I really can't imagine HSJ not being ten members but I can't see Ryutaro being able to get away with this without having to face some severe repercussions.
There's some new news about Ryutaro's punishment. According to Tokyo Graph's article a couple of things that will occur is that he's getting edited out of the covers of the new single (I'm assuming this must mean for any further printings of it as I got my notification of my order being sent out yesterday from CDJapan) and that he will not be a part of SUMMARY.
Tokyo Graph article. (English)