Saito Keiko and Husband Split

Saito KeikoManagement for actress Saito Keiko (47) announced yesterday that she and businessman Kimoto Hironori (51) have been divorced for several months. Saito said in a statement faxed to the media that she and her ex had parted amicably in May due to a “difference in values” and that neither money problems nor extra-marital affairs were involved. One of Japan’s most beautiful actresses, Saito was at the center of many a romantic rumors before she started a 7-year affair with the already married Kimoto. They eventually married in 1997 after he divorced his first wife. There were rumors of a split in 2000 when Kimoto’s business was in trouble. Saito has custody of their daughter Ayaka, born in 2000. Saito debuted as a Japan Airlines campaign girl in 1982 while still at university. She won a Japan Academy Award in 1994 as best supporting actress for her role in the movie “Shinonomero – Onna no Ran.”

• Singer Natsukawa Rimi (35) is engaged to get married, the Sankei Sports newspaper revealed yesterday. She formally announced on her website that she and percussionist Tamaki Masaaki (41) plan to tie the knot on New Year’s Day. The two met when Tamaki joined the band for Natsukawa’s 2007 concert tour. She is best known for the hugely popular Okinawan song “Nada Sousou.”

• Miura Yutaro (24), the eldest son of legendary J-pop idol Yamaguhi Momoe (49) and actor Miura Tomokazu (56), recently made his music debut as vocalist of the rock band Peaky Salt. Their debut single “Itoshi Setsuna Namida” had a relatively quiet release on November 26 but it being used in a TV commercial for the Uruoi Biritsu soft drink and may yet prove to be a hit. The band was formed when the members were in junior high school. They sent a demo tape to their current label, Vap Records, in 2006 and began performing more regularly in February 2007.