Daily Archives: April 4, 2007

Japan’s “We Are the World”

It’s being billed as Japan’s version of “We Are the World”. 44 of the country’s top celebrities and sports stars have given their time to a charity music project organized by top producer Suhou Shougo (31). They appear in the promo video for “end of the world”, a track on the maxi single “egg one” by indie trio “Sunny-side up”, and all profits will go to the Save the Children Japan NGO. Suhou put together the group with vocalists Tanabe Mai (23) and Takahashi Aimi (19). Among the many famous names appearing in the video are Wada Akiko, Koizumi Kyoko, Fujiwara Norika, Go Hiromi, Takahashi Katsunori, and Nanbara Kiyotaka. Also included in talento Kazami Shingo, who lost his 11-year-old daughter in a traffic accident just months ago. Each person simply holds up their own handwritten message to the children of the world. The project is exceptional in having such an impressive lineup of stars working free of charge with an indie group. The single is available from iTunes and other online music sites. The message cards are being put up for sale on Rakuten’s auction site.

• Kansai TV president Chiba Soichiro (63) has finally decided to bite the bullet. Three months after a scandal rocked his company, Chiba announced at a press conference in Osaka yesterday that he would demote himself to the level of non-representative company director. He will be replaced by Kataoka Masashi (64). The decision was made at an emergency board meeting earlier in the day. All board members will also lose their bonuses and several senior executives will have a 3-month pay cut. Chiba said, “We are carrying out our corporate responsibility following a rebuke from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and our broadcast of a program investigating the issue.” The scandal started when it was discovered that several elements of a January episode of the popular and long-running show “Hakkutsu! Aru Aru Daijiten II” had been faked. Further investigation turned up similar abuses on earlier episodes, the show lost its sponsor and was canceled.

• Talento Mieharu (40) yesterday married a 30-year-old company employee, named only as Yukiko. Real name Fujimoto Masanori, Mieharu is a member of the “Kin-chan Family”, celebrities under the tutelage of comedian Hagimoto Kinichi (66). His agency said they knew of his marriage plans but had not known the date.

• Tokio member Kokubun Taichi (32) spoke for the first time yesterday about his rumored split with singer aiko (31). “What you read is true,” he said about the revelation in February that the couple had split as long ago as last summer. “The reason? It just wasn’t meant to be. But I think we’re both cool with it.”

• Former “Shape Up Girls” member Kajiwara Mayumi (40) gave birth to twin boys yesterday. The babies were born by caesarean section. Kajiwara married a golf business entrepreneur in 2004. She was a member of one of several “sexy units” that were popular on TV until the mid 1990s.