An industry insider comments on why after several years of a rumoured relationship, media outlets have only recently begun to report on them, with even photos being published.
"Inoue is playing the lead role in NHK Taiga drama Hana Moyu which starts next year. To avoid scandals while it is on-air, the marriage will have to wait for a year at the very least. Being the main breadwinner of the agency, they will not give her the green light so easily either. On the other side, Matsumoto is in Johnny's leading group, Arashi, and marriage is out of the question for the moment. A definitive photo that cannot be explained away though has already been taken by a weekly magazine and using that as a bargaining chip, it has led to to the situation now where to a certain extent the media is allowed to report some news. The two of them though are twisting this to their advantage. As the flow of information little by little becomes established fact, they hope to convince their respective agencies. When it comes to marriage, essentially doing it by force via a shotgun marriage is the most effective way. However the two of them are professionals and will not resort to that. The time for marriage will probably come as they watch the response from fans and the media."