Some details are in about the Japanese leg of the upcoming Live8 gigs. The venue and date have been confirmed as the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba on Saturday, July 2, from 2-8pm. This will actually make it the first of the concerts worldwide to kick off. The biggest international name in the lineup that we’ve seen is Bjork and she’ll be joined by rockers McFly from the UK and Good Charlotte from the US. Otherwise, it will be mostly local bands like Dreams Come True, Rize and Def Tech. Admission is free, so I can’t imagine that attendance will be as low as the projected 20,000 people. Live8 is a series of concerts put together to raise awarenes of world poverty. It’s been organized by former Boomtown Rats frontman (now Sir) Bob Geldof, who put together the massive Live Aid shows in 1985, the day that rock changed the world. The timing has been chosen to fall before a summit of G-8 leaders at Gleneagles in Scotland on July 6. A Tokyo concert wasn’t originally planned, but Geldof hopes it will help prod the Japanese government to increase its development aid to poorer nations, as EU governments recently have.
• Could actress Sugita Kaoru’s fairytale be coming to an end? For the last few years, she’s been the butt of jokes as a typical unmarriable type of woman, sarcastically referred to in Japanese as “make-inu” (loser dog). So her marriage in January to Ayukawa Junta, the 44-year old heir of a huge family fortune, had many people gaping in disbelief, but also happy for the 40-year old former child star (photo) whose life and career has had its ups and downs. This week the media have pounced on rumors that the couple might already be living apart. Sugita refused to answer questions as she left Shinjuku’s Studio Alta after appearing on the “Waratte Ii Tomo” afternoon show. But reporters noticed that she wasn’t wearing the flashy diamond wedding ring she had showed off so proudly just a few months ago.