National

Idol group Arashi and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii to perform at enthronement festival for Emperor Naruhito

Kyodo

All-male idol group Arashi and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii will perform at a festival celebrating the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, a group of lawmakers and business leaders organizing the event revealed Tuesday.

“We hope to give our best performance wholeheartedly so we can add to the celebratory mood at the gathering,” said Sho Sakurai of Arashi, which plans to go on hiatus at the end of next year.

The five members of the popular Japanese group will perform a song written by playwright Yoshikazu Okada at the Nov. 9 festival, organizers said.

Emperor Naruhito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, the previous day.

The organizers have requested, through the Imperial Household Agency, the attendance of the emperor and Empress Masako at the festival. The event will be held at the Imperial Palace Plaza, with a government-sponsored ceremony being held separately.

Arashi’s members are known not only for their music but also for appearing in movies, dramas, variety shows and commercials since making their debut in 1999. Their announcement in January that they would be putting their work on hold shocked fans at home and abroad.

Members of the public can apply for tickets for the event through the website until Oct. 2, with organizers expecting a total of 60,000 people to attend.

Other notable figures set to appear at the event include Kabuki actor Matsumoto Hakuo and actress Mana Ashida, who are scheduled to give congratulatory speeches.

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