Talento Kato Noriko (32) is to get married on New Year’s Day, according to her agency yesterday. The lucky man is Wakatsuki Yoshio (43), a creative director in the fashion world. The fax announcement of the engagement caught the media by surprise as the two have only been going out since the spring, though they’ve been living together for the last couple of months. They have known each other for several years, and met when Kato took a break from showbusiness to study in Paris in 2000. Wakatsuki was working on the Paris Collection at the time.
• Rock band Mr. Children finished up their first nationwide “dome tour” with a show last night at Tokyo Dome. They played to 45,000 fans, bringing the tour total to about 390,000. Vocalist Sakurai Kazutoshi (35), who battled with serious illness in 2003 that saw the band take a 6-month hiatus, said 2005 was the best year ever.
• Kabuki actor Onoe Matsusuke died of cancer at a Tokyo hospital on Monday. He was 59.
• A survey has shown that people are pretty evenly divided about whether national broadcaster NHK should take legal action against those who refuse to pay their license fee. The number of those refusing to pay has increased to over a million following a series of scandals involving NHK employees.