The latest twist in the LOONA contract saga is that Universal Music Japan is seeking to enforce their exclusive management rights to LOONA, who they signed back in September of 2019. This deal is reportedly separate from their contract with Blockberry Creative and exists regardless of what happens with that.
The contract reportedly states, “Regardless whether the artists’ contract with Blockberry Creative management is broken or cancelled, the members must continue to fulfill their duties for this contract. Should they violate any terms of this contract, the artists must pay damages for failing to fulfill their responsibilities under Japanese law.“
The report goes on to say that UMJ plans to have the whole group continue activities through albums, fan meetings, and all the regular stuff.
Essentially, they’re saying that the 12 LOONA members have a contract with UMJ in Japan for about three more years regardless of whatever mess is happening in Korea and that they intend to carry on regardless. That obviously includes Chuu, as well as Heejin, Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Choerry, even with their contracts suspended. The most obvious recent example of this scenario that comes to mind is EXID, who went their separate ways with different companies in Korea but continued group activities in Japan for like a year longer, as they were contractually obligated to.
While it’s possible this could end up being somewhat ideal for fans in terms of all 12 continuing on as LOONA for years, it also could obviously lead to a whole other legal fight if not everybody is on board with this plan. Just another wrinkle into an increasingly complicated situation.