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Kuwata on a comeback; wartime drama ‘Saigo no Kizuna’; CM of the week: ST Corporation

Keisuke Kuwata, the former leader of rock band the Southern All Stars, continues his recovery from cancer treatment with three successive appearances on “Music Station” (TV Asahi, Fri., 7 p.m.). This week it’s appearance number two. On each show he performs one song from his new “three-sided single,” which will be released on Aug. 17. It all leads up to his comeback concert in Miyagi Prefecture in September.

Also on the show are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of the biggest concert draws in the world, who will be making their second-ever live appearance on “Music Station.” They’re in Japan to headline the Summer Sonic rock festival. To round things off, retro-rock hit-makers Love Psychedelico will be on hand.

As is widely known, Japan’s situation was so desperate in the closing days of World War II that everyone was mobilized to fend off the Americans, even children. “Saigo no Kizuna” (“The Last Ties”; Fuji TV, Sat., 9 p.m.) dramatizes the story of the Tekketsu Kinno Tai (Emperor’s Iron-blooded Army), a group of Okinawan junior high and high school boys organized to defend their island.

One of the boys, Koji (Takeru Satoh), is even more conflicted about his mission, since his older brother is fighting on the American side, having gone to the U.S. in order to earn money for Koji’s education. Will he actually have to fight against his own brother in the heat of battle? It’s a possibility that is tearing his father (Ren Osugi) apart.

CM of the week: ST Corporation

The household products made by ST are not well served by the company’s TV commercials, since they rarely feature the products themselves. But the ads are always big hits.

The latest series for the “room deodorant” Shoshuriki started with a spot featuring a Portuguese lad named Miguel singing an a cappella, wordless ditty that ends with the word “Shoshuriki” crooned at the top of his little lungs.

Miguel became an instant superstar, and in a new ad he joins J-pop idol Takanori Nishikawa, better known as T.M. Revolution, on stage during a concert. The girls in the audience squeal in recognition as Miguel comes out and he and Nishikawa sing the Shoshuriki song twice, first without instruments and then with full hard-rock backing. It’s thrilling, but you still don’t know what they’re selling.