Erika Sawajiri and Avex enter business partnership

Avex announced on Monday that its Avex Management division has entered a formal business partnership with the private management office of actress Sawajiri Erika (25). The partnership contract has already been in effect since April 1st of this year, putting Avex Management in charge of managing her show business-related activities in Japan.

Sawajiri stated that she plans to keep acting at the center of her career while expanding into other areas. She said that she recently finished filming a commercial, but she is aiming to return to film and television dramas as soon as possible.

The specifics of the contract between Avex and Sawajiri’s management office are unclear. It seems that the management office is a private company representing Sawajiri in Japan, though the name of the office was not revealed. Meanwhile, Sawajiri still has her own management office in Spain which handles her personal affairs.

Erika Sawajiri headed for a divorce?

On Sunday night, the Fuji TV show “Mr. Sunday” broke the news that actress Erika Sawajiri (24) appears to be headed for a divorce. Since then, the media has been scrambling to verify the story. Although Sawajiri has yet to make an official statement and has been avoiding the press, it seems that the news is true.

Sawajiri got married to media creator Tsuyoshi Takashiro (45) in January 2009, though their relationship started back in 2007. There have been plenty of rumors about the two getting divorced, but it appears that Sawajiri became serious about it in September 2009, around the time that she was dismissed by her former agency, Stardust Promotion.

Sources say that since her dismissal, Sawajiri has, on at least three occasions, informed people around her of her decision to split from Takashiro. It is not clear yet what her reasons are, though there is some speculation that it may involve financial troubles.

Meanwhile, Sawajiri is still making progress in her return to show business. She and Takashiro launched their own private management office in early May, based in Spain. However, with this divorce, she plans to find new management, and she has apparently been in talks with Avex president Max Matsuura (45) to negotiate a contract with Avex’s management office. Avex confirmed that contract negotiations are under way, with plans to have Sawajiri make her acting comeback in a BeeTV drama series. The company could not provide further details at the moment, nor did it have any comment on the divorce rumor.

The report aired during “Mr. Sunday” seems to have taken many by surprise, including Takashiro himself. Commenting on the matter, he indicated that the news was a big shock to him, as talk of divorce has not come up before in his conversations with Sawajiri. When he was interviewed on Monday, he said that he had been unable to reach Sawajiri ever since the broadcast of “Mr. Sunday.”

Before “Mr. Sunday,” Sawajiri had been reached for comment regarding the divorce, but she had simply stated that she couldn’t talk at the time and requested that the inquiry be made at a later date.

Singer Ayumi Hamasaki implicated in drug scandal?

Japanese pop princess Ayumi Hamasaki’s record label Avex Trax, a subsidiary of Avex Entertainment, has reportedly been trying to transfer her management rights for one billion yen ($15 million) after the singer became embroiled in a drug scandal involving colleague Manabu Oshio.

According to Japanese media reports, Avex arrived at this decision to prevent her drug scandal from affecting the record label’s stock prices, though industry observers say the figure is simply too low to be true.

Oshio was arrested in December last year on suspicion of giving the recreation drug Ecstacy to a hostess who later died of an overdose.

Source: Live journal