Tetsuya Komuro, the J-pop producer and songwriter who ruled the Japanese pop scene in the 1990s, has been arrested on fraud charges.
The man who produced million-seller hits for Namie Amuro, and a host of others, has been taken into custody by police in Osaka for allegedly defrauding an investor of 500 million yen ($5.03 million).
Komuro allegedly sold the man the rights to 806 of his songs and, after receiving half the total one billion yen ($10.06 million) fee as an advance, never assigned the rights to the investor.
The J-pop producer is accused of setting up the crime in August 2006 by approaching an unnamed investor in Hyogo Prefecture and securing the huge advance, but failing to transfer any rights since then.
It has also been reported that the publishing rights for many of the tracks actually belonged to companies including AVEX Entertainment, the company that Komuro recorded his hits with in the Nineties.
It was the Komuro hit machine that propelled AVEX from a mid-level label to a major player, and it now has the largest market share in Japan.
Komuro produced numerous monster hits, including Amuro’s “Can You Celebrate?”
In 1995, acts he produced held all top five positions in the Japanese singles chart.
As the appeal of the Komuro sound waned, the producer distanced himself from AVEX and produced artists for Sony, including Ami Suzuki, though his current act Globe is on AVEX. The label has said it will suspend releases by the band scheduled for later this year.