The bassist for all-male idol group Tokio was let go by his talent agency over a high-profile scandal involving a high school girl, ending his career with the popular band.

Johnny & Associates said in a fax to media outlets May 6 it had terminated its contract with Tatsuya Yamaguchi, 46, after he was accused of molesting a young girl at his home while drunk. Yamaguchi had been with the agency since he started out in the pop business.

However, the agency expressed its determination to stand by Yamaguchi as he tries to redeem himself.

Yamaguchi had already told his fellow band members that he intended to quit. He formally informed Johnny & Associates on May 6 that he would step aside.

Agency boss Johnny Kitagawa and Tokio frontman Shigeru Joshima discussed the situation and decided that Yamaguchi had to go.

“We agreed that we should accede to his wishes so he can face the music, as it were, rather than allow the situation to linger,” the fax said.

The agency had been expected to order Yamaguchi to stay out of the spotlight and reflect on his behavior "for an indefinite period."

Yamaguchi was accused of forcibly kissing the girl, but criminal proceedings were dropped after the victim withdrew her complaint.

“It will be our responsibility to offer tangible support to Yamaguchi in every possible way until he can recover his normal self, gain forgiveness from the victim and draw a future (blueprint),” the fax added.

The four other members of Tokio said in a statement: “We will return to the starting line as Tokio once more, each of us facing up to who we are and giving profound thought about what we should do and for whom, with our sights fixed firmly ahead.”

Tokio keyboardist Taichi Kokubun said in a May 7 morning TV show that he emcees: “Yamaguchi has left Johnny & Associates. I think now he stands at a new beginning."

Kokubun added that along with the talent agency, he will keep a close watch on Yamaguchi with the hope that the fallen musician will be able to rehabilitate himself.

Tokio has featured in promotional activities for agricultural produce from Fukushima Prefecture, including TV commercials and posters, following concerns about food safety in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori told reporters May 7 that the remaining members of Tokio would continue doing so.

“(Tokio) has encouraged Fukushima’s reconstruction efforts since the disaster happened. The four members of Tokio expressed their feelings toward Fukushima Prefecture during a news conference held May 2. That was the decisive factor.”