Actress Kimura Yoshino (29) donned a striking red kimono yesterday at the famous Sensoji temple, a popular tourist spot in downtown Asakusa. She was dressed up to take part in an event to encourage foreign tourists to visit Japan, in her role as an “amabassador” for the government’s ongoing “Yokoso!” campaign. The current event, “Yokoso! Japan Weeks 2006” will take place from January 20 to February 20. She and Transport Minister Kitagawa Kazuo joined visiting Chinese and Korean students in making origami cranes. The “Yokoso!” campaign aims to increase the number of foreign visitors to 10 million a year by 2010. How come they’ve never contacted Japan Zone!
• TV executives are trying to distance themselves from the ongoing Livedoor scandal, as the investigation of financial irregularities by the IT company continues. Fuji TV chairman Hieda Hisashi (68) was especially critical of Livedoor CEO Horie Takafumi (33) in a press conference yesterday. The two companies were locked in a battle for control of the Nippon Housou radio station for two months last spring. That battle resulted in Fuji buying a large amount of Livedoor stock, whose value has plummeted in the last few days. Also criticizing Horiemon and his company’s practices was TV Tokyo president Sugaya Sadahiko (67). He said that his company had cancelled a tie up with Livedoor on an online shopping site.