Johnny’s Jimusho have announced the first overseas concert tour by idol group KAT-TUN, but member Akanishi Jin (25, photo 3rd from left) won’t be joining them. Why? Because he’s going to be busy performing solo in Los Angeles. The other five members of KAT-TUN will be touring Japan and Asia between May and August, while Akanishi will be heading to L.A. in June. KAT-TUN will play 21 arena shows in 10 cities across Japan between May 2 and June 27. They start their “World Big Tour” at Tokyo Dome on July 16 before heading to Bangkok, Thailand; Seoul, Korea; Kyocera Dome Osaka; and Taipei, Taiwan. Negotiations are also underway for them to be the first Johnny’s artists to perform in Hawaii. As an indication of KAT-TUN’s popularity at home, last year they set a new record by playing eight straight days at Tokyo Dome.
Though the KAT-TUN tour had already been decided, when representatives of the American cable network UTB came to see Akanishi’s solo show in Tokyo last month, they approached him about performing Stateside. After consultation with Johnny Kitagawa himself and the other group members, three U.S. shows were set up on June 19 & 20 at Club Nokia LA Live. Akanishi will be staying in the U.S. until at least October where he will no doubt be working toward his dream of performing in Las Vegas. It’s said to be the first time for a Johnny’s group member to drop out of a tour to perform solo, and Akanishi will be first artist from the agency to go it alone in the U.S. He has a history of doing his own thing, and in October 2006 shocked KAT-TUN fans when he took off to spend six months studying in the U.S. For the upcoming L.A. shows, he is planning to speak mostly in English.
KAT-TUN’s Akanishi “On Leave” (Oct. 13, 2006)