• Reuters

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Almost 50 years after the Beatles delivered memorable performances at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena, former band member Paul McCartney returned to the venue on Tuesday with a special treat for his fans.

McCartney, 72, surprised the audience by singing the Beatles’ “Another Girl,” the first time the song has ever been performed live, the singer’s publicist said.

The veteran British musician also performed both Beatles hits and his own, and addressed the excited crowd in Japanese, saying, “Long time no see Budokan.”

“It was sensational and quite emotional remembering the first time and then experiencing this fantastic audience tonight,” McCartney said in a statement.

The Beatles first played the Budokan arena in 1966, amid protests from locals angered at the use of the venue for a musical act, as it was intended to be a sports arena. But the Tokyo arena has hosted a range of musical acts over the past five decades.

McCartney last performed in Japan in 2013, near the beginning of his international “Out There” tour, but not at the Budokan venue. His current tour will wrap up in July in Chicago.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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