Some cultures do apologies and remorse better than others. It is probably worth pointing out that this was as near to a "victimless crime" as it is possible to get, really, the incident in question being a solo naked romp in a deserted park at 3am in the morning.
There has also been reaction from the government due to Kusanagi's role as official promoter of Japan's move to digital TV broadcasting, as a result of which households will need to invest in new tellys.
"As an adult, my actions were embarrassing. I deeply regret what I did," 34-year-old Kusanagi, a member of popular male pop group SMAP, told a packed press meeting in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Friday night. Kusanagi, who was arrested on suspicion of public indecency after being found drunk and naked in a park in the ward in the predawn hours of Thursday, was released on Friday afternoon. He will be forced to cancel his entertainment activities for the time being.
"I caused a lot of concern and trouble to my fans, concerned parties, and my fellow members of SMAP. I'm really sorry," the somber Kusanagi said as he bowed before the 300-strong media corps gathered at a major recording company's conference room shortly after 9 p.m. "I drank too much, to the extent that I was out of control. I regret my actions very much," said Kusanagi, clad in a blackish suit and tie. "I deeply apologize."
"I had never become naked in public before. I once stripped myself down to my underwear while drinking at home," Kusanagi continued. "I sometimes drink to the extent I lose myself." He even revealed that his fellow SMAP members once warned him over his drinking habit: "Maybe they were worried about me going like this today. I wasn't conscious enough of my actions."
When asked why he drank to the point of becoming unconscious, Kusanagi said, "Although I'm aware that I have the support of many people, it was my weakness that I drank (too much)." Kusanagi, however, flatly denied that he was suffering from any stress or pressure. "I want to return to SMAP as soon as possible. But I need to reflect on my actions. It's something that cannot be decided by my feelings alone," he said. At the end of the 30-minute-long press conference, Kusanagi bowed again and said, "I'm terribly sorry."
Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama vented anger when asked to comment. ''The act is shameful for a person who is asking the public to shoulder a financial burden'' of buying new televisions to prepare for the shift. The minister said he plans to remove all the posters promoting digital broadcasting that feature Kusanagi, while the singer's arrest immediately triggered the cancellation of commercials featuring him airing in Japan, including one by Toyota Motor Corp.
What do you think? An appropriate response? Too harsh? How do you think this incident would have played out in New Zealand?