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Times a-changin' in J-pop as ex-SMAP stars exit super-agency

Johnny's disdain for internet could leave room for upstarts to flourish

Formed in 1991, SMAP has enjoyed enduring popularity even beyond its dissolution late last year.

TOKYO -- Three former members of SMAP, the venerable and beloved Japanese pop group that disbanded late last year, will leave powerhouse talent agency Johnny & Associates in what could prove a wise move amid a fast-changing media market.

Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori will depart after their contracts expire in September, it was reported Monday.

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