J-pop group TOKIO promoting Fukushima products in 3 new TV ads

Three new TV commercials starring members of all-male J-pop group TOKIO have been completed to promote farm, forestry and marine products from Fukushima Prefecture, Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori announced on July 13. The TV ads, separately focusing on peaches, skipjack tuna and summer vegetables, began airing from July 15. It was the first time fishery products were promoted in a Fukushima TV commercial series, intended to overcome safety concerns stemming from the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The ads represent the connection that exists between the people of the prefecture and the TOKIO bandmates. ■1st ad for seafood TOKIO leader Shigeru Joshima performs in the peach ad while two members, Masahiro Matsuoka and Taichi Kokubun, separately appear in the bonito and summer vegetable spots, respectively. The 15-second commercials were produced by Michihiko Yanai, creative director for the Fukushima government, who hails from the Fukushima Prefecture city of Koriyama. The ads were shot at a peach orchard in Fukushima city, Onahama fishing port in Iwaki city, and a tomato farm in the town of Yabuki. The commercials depict peach farmers, fishery industry workers and children, all making a pitch for their area's specialty. The TOKIO members are shown consuming peaches, bonito and summer vegetables delivered to Tokyo. Also appearing in the ads is "Bekotaro," a prefectural mascot based on the motif of the "Akabeko" (red cow) doll, which chimes in with "n'da, n'da," meaning "right on" in the Fukushima dialect. The commercials are being broadcast in the three major urban regions of Kanto, Kansai and Chukyo centering on Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, respectively, as well as in Hokkaido and Fukushima. "We will transmit across the country the high quality of our agricultural, forestry and fishery products, their charms, and the 'Fukushima pride' of their producers," Uchibori said as he unveiled the TV ads at a press conference. Also produced along with the commercials was a new poster in which all TOKIO members, including Tomoya Nagase, promote prefectural farm, forestry and marine products. (Translated by Kyodo News)