Arashi to Hijack NTV Network


Stars often appear all over a network for a day to promote a new movie or album, but Johnny’s Jimusho idol group Arashi are to take over NTV for a whole week. The group are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut in November. To mark the occasion, various members of the group will appear on an estimated 50 hours of programming during a seven-day period. They’ll make live appearances on the network’s most popular variety and news shows and will perform their hits during a special live concert. The final dates have yet to be announced.

With the members of fellow Johnny’s group SMAP now all into their 30’s, Arashi have a strong hold on the teenage and young adult fan base. But although they have a string of No.1 hits, it was only with the recent release of a greatest hits album, “All the Best, 1999-2009” that they had their first million seller. The upcoming “hijacking” of the NTV network is to show that they are now established as major stars and, perhaps more than anything else, make it clear to corporate sponsors that they are the group of the moment. The five members of Arashi have also maintained a clean image, unlike that of SMAP, which has become a little tarnished by incidents over the years. Arashi are Ono Satoshi (28), Sakurai Sho (27), Aiba Masaki (26), Ninomiya Kazunari (26) and Matsumoto Jun (26).

• The Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture villa of Sakai Noriko and Takaso Yuichi was destroyed by fire yesterday morning. The home is believed to be one place where the couple used drugs and it had already been searched by police in their ongoing investigation. Neighbors said they saw people they believed to be members of Takaso’s family removing items from the house in the days before the fire. Both Takaso and Sakai were released on bail last week.