Japan’s biggest-selling rock group B’z have recorded the theme song for the upcoming Fuji TV marine drama series “Umizaru.” The ballad “Ocean” is the first drama tie-up for B’z in five years and is sure to be one of the big hits of the summer. The group, who are currently in the middle of a 27-city national tour, got permission from the Maritime Self Defense Agency to film the promo video on board one of their ships. The TV series is a followup to the successful movie version. A sequel , “Umizaru – The Next Stage,” is scheduled for national release next spring.
• Kusano Masaichi, president of Shinko Music Entertainment, died on Monday of cancer at a Tokyo hospital. He was 74. Under the pen name Sazanami Kenji, he translated many popular hits of the 1960s into Japanese, including “Vacation” by Connie Francis and Del Shannon’s “Runaway.” Hhe also wrote the Japanese versions of “The Mickey Mouse March” and “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
• Popular acapella group Rag Fair played a mini concert to open yesterday’s soccer game between FC Tokyo and visiting Serie A champions Juventus. The game was held at FC Tokyo’s home at Ajinomoto Stadium in the western Tokyo suburb of Chofu.