• Kyodo, Staff Report


The popular Japanese boy band Kanjani Eight has been recruited to promote tourism in Osaka, the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau said Tuesday.

The seven members of the band, who hail from the western prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo, are expected to promote attractions in the Kansai region centering on Osaka as the city bids to host the 2025 World Exposition.

Matches of the Rugby World Cup will also be held at a venue in the city of Higashiosaka in Osaka Prefecture in the fall of next year.

“I want people around the world to feel the groove and power of Osaka,” said group member Yu Yokoyama at an event at Osaka City Central Public Hall where their appointment was announced.

The boy band, established in 2002, is well known in Japan and other Asian countries. It is represented by Johnny & Associates, an agency known for creating popular boy bands such as SMAP.