By: Yian Lu
SINGAPORE – Following their YouTube live held last week, popular Japanese boy band Arashi took off on a blast to visit Singapore, one of the four cities named in their promotional tour Jet Storm. The venue they have chosen to hold this press conference and fan meet is none other than our very iconic Jewel Changi Airport.
With the Rain Vortex as the background, about 50 lucky fans got to see the five-man band — consisting of leader Satoshi Ohno, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya and Jun Matsumoto — up close. Other fans who did not win the ballot managed to catch glimpses of their idols at the public viewing zone. Apparently, some fans woke up as early as 3am to reach the venue at 5am just to secure a decent spot, with some even flying in from Malaysia the day before and flying back on Sunday night. Even if the fans had to stand for hours, their undying passion kept them going, singing along with the Arashi songs playing in the background.
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Fans singing Arashi’s Love so sweet while waiting for their arrival.
While 3 November marked the 20th anniversary of Arashi since their CD debut, 10 November has become an important date for Singapore Arashians (term to describe Arashi fans) as it is the first time the five members visited Singapore together. Among them, only Sakurai and Aiba have been to our tiny island for work: Sakurai was here in 2013 for the filming and premiere of The After-Dinner Mysteries movie, while Aiba was here in 2006 for the filming of a Japanese variety show at Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.
Sakurai who graduated from Keio University, opened the press conference with a greeting in English saying, “Hi Singapore, we finally made it! First of all, thank you so much for giving us this great opportunity. We’re here to express our gratitude to the fans in Singapore who’ve been supporting us for 20 years since our debut.”
Arashi’s leader Ohno also reflected that he is very grateful to see fans in their concerts in Japan holding uchiwas (Japanese fans) with messages saying they are from Singapore; while Matsumoto is thankful for the messages many fans from Singapore left on their recently set up social media sites and is happy to meet the fans face-to-face. On the other hand, Aiba said he had been to Singapore in private and found our hawker food hokkien mee very delicious. The humorous Ninomiya even joked about fans having muscle aches the next day while thanking fans for giving them so much attention, holding their handphones up high to shoot them.
Following that, Arashi announced their upcoming plans before their hiatus in end of 2020, which included the things that were revealed during their YouTube live last week, such as their official social media sites, concerts in the new Tokyo National Stadium and in Beijing. To the disappointment of many fans, there was no new information or any updates on the possibility of an Asia concert tour, specifically a concert in Singapore.
In their parting message, Matsumoto said in English, “We started YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Weibo, and music stream. So, please follow us. We hope this will be a great opportunity for our fans and for us to get much closer to each other. We’d like to share the same dreams with our fans in the world. Thank you so much for coming today.”
For more information on Arashi and their latest music video ‘Turning Up’, check out http://smarturl.it/turningup.