Jiro Inao, an employee of Dentsu Aegis Network in Indonesia, committed suicide on 21 March, the company has confirmed.
Inao, a Japanese national, was 47 and had lived and worked in Indonesia on a local contract for around 20 years. He served as general manager of JKT48, an all-female pop group that is the property of Dentsu Media Indonesia. JKT48 is the Indonesian equivalent of Japan’s AKB48.
The reason for the suicide is not known, and Dentsu was unable to comment on it directly. A spokesperson for Dentsu Media Indonesia said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and colleague…Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that their privacy is respected.”
Police are investigating the case, according to reports in the Indonesian press. Dentsu’s spokesperson said the company is providing support to Inao’s family and counseling to colleagues.
There is nothing to suggest the incident relates to work. It follows two other recent untimely deaths of agency staff members, at Ogilvy Public Relations in the Philippines in February and at Dentsu in Tokyo in December 2015.
Fans of the pop group have been posting tributes to Inao online.