Japan’s most famous techno trio have teamed up with a trio of international movie directors for the omnibus movie “Tokyo!” The members of HASYMO – Hosono Haruomi (60), Sakamoto Ryuichi (56) and Takahashi Yukihiro (55) – are better known as the pioneering 80s band Yellow Magic Orchestra. They wrote the instrumental “Tokyo Town Pages” between them, mixing in station platform announcements and other sounds familiar to anyone who has been to Tokyo. The song, which features as the movie’s ending theme, will be released as a double-A side single with the TBS “News23” theme “The City of Light” on August 6. The trio were chosen for the movie for a variety of reasons, among them being that they are all Tokyo natives, and the fact that their number matches the number of directors – Frenchmen Leos Carax (47) and Michel Gondry (44), and Korean Bong Joon-ho (38). The movie is to have its world premiere later this month in the “Un Certain Regard” category at the Cannes International Film Festival. Among the cast members are Kase Ryo, Kagawa Teruyuki and Aoi Yuu.
• A red-faced Sylvester Stallone (61) is in Japan promoting his latest Rambo movie. The Hollywood star was red-faced but happy as he greeted the 50 or so fans who greeted him at 3am at Narita Airport. During the 11-hour flight on a privately chartered Gulf Stream jet, the actor indulged in two steak meals and plenty of booze. He’s due to meet with reporters today and attend the movie’s Japan premiere tomorrow.
• Madonna (49) has her first No.1 album on the combined Oricon chart in 18 years. Sales of “Hard Candy” have been helped by heavy airp@lay for the single “Four Minutes” and the fact that the track “Miles Away” is the theme for the highly anticipated Fuji TV drama series “Change.” Meanwhile Aoyama Teruma’s “Soba ni Irune” has become the biggest-selling single of the year. It’s been in the Oricon Top 10 for 12 weeks and has sold over 420,000 copies. It was used as the spring campaign song by NTT for its DoCoMo mobile phone service, and has been downloaded more than 6 million times.
• British singer Leona Lewis (23) paid her first visit to Japan at the weekend. Her album “Spirit” and the single “Bleeding Love” have been smash hits in the U.K. and the U.S., and the album has sold 150,000 copies here. Appearing on a live radio show on Saturday, she said she loved the warmth of the Japanese fans and that she planned to spend her day off shopping in Harajuku.
• A Golden Week roundup of pregnancy announcements: singer UA (36) told the audience at the 9Alive concert on Sunday that she’s expecting her second child. She had a son with actor Murakami Ryo (34) in 1997, but they divorced in August 2006; actress Itaya Yuka (32) said on her regular slot as an announcer on the NTV show “News Zero” last night that she is taking maternity leave as of today. She is expecting her first child at the beginning of June. She married stylist Furuta Hirohiko (40) in February 2007; and NTV announcer Mori Fumi (34) said on Monday that she is four months pregnant with her first child. The former Miss Japan married a staff member from the afternoon show “Za Waido” in 2002.