NHK has announced on its website that the presenters for the 67th “Kohaku Uta Gassen" (Red and White Song Contest) on New Year's Eve will be singer Masaki Aiba, 33, for the white (male) team and actress Kasumi Arimura, 23, for the red (female) team.
Aiba has been participating in the contest continuously for seven years as a member of the popular "boy" band Arashi. Although Arashi as a group had been presenters at "Kohaku" for five consecutive years from 2010, this is going to be the first time for Aiba to go solo as a presenter.
When informed of the decision, Aiba said: “I thought I was not in a position to be able to accept this offer. But I don’t think I will have another great chance like this in the future. I decided to accept it because I didn't want to regret not doing it later.”
Arimura, who will play the heroine in next year's NHK drama "Hiyokko," said: “I feel overwhelmed by this offer because this is a huge opportunity that I am not prepared for. But I will try hard. I hope we have a great time together.”
The theme for this year's contest, which will be broadcast on NHK TV and radio from 7:15 p.m. on Dec 31, is "Let's sing our dreams."
This year's program will mark the final performance of idol group SMAP who will disband after 28 years.© Japan Today