Prefectural gov't forms TOKIO section to spread charms of Fukushima

The Fukushima prefectural government has created a "TOKIO section" serving as a liaison with a company set up by the popular eponymous male pop group. The new section will work with the company to send out information about how the reconstruction in Fukushima Prefecture is progressing 10 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant, as well as on the region's attractions. TOKIO member Tomoya Nagase quit the Johnny & Associates music management agency at the end of March, reducing the group to a trio of Shigeru Joshima, Taichi Kokubun and Masahiro Matsuoka. When they officially inaugurated the company, they also announced the launch of an initiative titled a "project to have fun in Fukushima." To help promote the project, the local government created the TOKIO section for coordination between the company and various in-house departments and municipalities in the prefecture concerned. With no section chief or dedicated staff, it is situated in the local government's planning and coordination division and staffed by its members. TOKIO proposed the partnership after the group frequently visited the region to encourage reconstruction efforts while appearing in TV commercials publicizing Fukushima products. "We would like the TOKIO team to disseminate information on Fukushima as it is," Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori told reporters on April 1. "We will provide maximum support to help the trio's dreams come true or their thoughts take on a life of their own," he added, pledging to cooperate fully for TOKIO's activities. (Translated by Kyodo News)