Comedian Okamura Takashi (35, photo right) has promised to tell all about his reported romance with pin-up girl Kumada Yoko (23) next week. The romance between the two was revealed in the latest issue of the weekly magazine Friday. Okamura, one half of the comedy duo Ninety-Nine, was quizzed about it on their late night radio show yesterday. He said he had been caught completely by surprise by paparazzi who photograhed him and Kumada leaving his Tokyo apartment by car. He was most disappointed that in the heat of the moment, he hadn’t been able to produce a good quote for the reporters.
• The 1976 hit movie “Inugamike no Ichizoku” is to be remade, with the same lead actor and director. Ishizaka Koji (64) will again play Yokomizo Seishi’s famous detective creation Kindaichi Kosuke, and veteran director Ichikawa Kon (90) will be behind the camera once more.
• Singer Arashiro Beni (19) recently became the first Japanese artist to appear on a famous Chinese New Year song contest. The show on Guangxi TV is described as the Chinese equivalent of Japan’s Kohaku Uta Gassen. Arashiro sang “miracle” and “here Alone” as well as a song in Chinese. Her second album, “Girl 2 Lady,” is scheduled for release on February 22.
• SMAP member Kusanagi Tsuyoshi (31) has cancelled his regular appearances on several shows after coming down with a bout of influenza. He missed his regular Friday sot on “Waratte Ii Tomo”, the first time he’s failed to make the live afternoon variety show since he started on it in 1995. There haven’t been any reported cases of people catching the so-called “bird flu” in Japan, but the regular variety seems to be spreading at the moment.