The Japan premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” was held yesterday at National Yoyogi Gymnasium in central Tokyo. In attendance were stars Harrison Ford (65) and Karen Allen (56) as well as executive producer-writer George Lucas (64). The 6,000-strong audience included such local celebrities as Rakuten Golden Eagles manager Nomura Katsuya (72) and his wife Sachiyo (76), K-1 fighter Masato (29) and his actress wife Yazawa Shin (27). The red carpet was laid for the event despite the threat of bad weather, with Ford saying a bit of rain wouldn’t keep him from meeting the fans. At a press conference earlier in the week, Ford described the Indy Jones series as “shamelessly made for the audience – not to pander to them, but to give them an exciting ride.” Lucas talked about the excitement of bringing Indy back to the big screen after a gap of 19 years. “It seems to happen on every movie, every Indiana Jones movie we do. There is this magic moment when Harrison appears on the set in his outfit and puts his hat on,” he said. “That just transports everyone into a magic place. I don’t know why. Even in ‘Star Wars,’ we don’t have an iconic figure who does the same.” The movie has had a hugely successful start worldwide, grossing over $313 million in its opening weekend alone. It will open in theaters in Japan on June 21.
• Speaking of hugely successful, vocal group GReeeeN are having a great week. Not only is their single “Kiseki” is No.1 on both the Oricon and the Billboard charts, but it’s also the first song to be downloaded more than 100,000 times in just one day on the “chaku-uta full” mobile phone service. It set the bar very high when it recorded 180,000 downloads when it was released on June 4. The song is the theme tune for the current popular TBS drama series “Rookies,” and the shorter “chaku-uta” ringtone version has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times since the series started on April 19. GReeeeN debuted in January of last year when all four members were studying dentistry. Three members – Hide (28), Navi (28) and 92 (27) – graduated in January, with Soh (27) still having a year to go. Their debut album “A, Domo. Hajimemashite,” sold over 700,000 copies last year. The follow up, “A, Domo. Ohisashiburi,” goes on sale June 25 and is sure to be a million seller.
• Former Fuji TV announcer Chino Shio (30) gave birth to twin boys yesterday. Known by the nickname “Chinopan,” she was one of Fuji’s most popular announcers until she quit the network to go freelance in 2005. In 2006 she married a securities company employee who just happens to be the nephew of Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo.