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Fox TV reporter Ako Koizumi shines on

22 Comments
By Chris Betros

When foreign movie stars are in Tokyo, walking the red carpet at Japan premieres, they invariably stop for a few minutes when Ako Koizumi waves her microphone at them to get a few comments.

It is no coincidence that Koizumi has landed that job for Fox Television’s "Backstage Pass" program. The stylish 27-year-old bubbles with enthusiasm and confidence, whether she is doing TV or radio work. “Life is a gift and I want to make every day count,” she says in fluent English.

Born and raised in Yokohama, Koizumi describes herself then as just a typical Japanese girl who didn’t know anything about other cultures. ”When I was a child, I used to watch TV shows like 'Beverly Hills 90210' and dream of going to California … and I did,” she says. “I spent almost five years in LA, graduated from Santa Monica College, studying communications and I took acting lessons, as well. My goal was to work in show biz, or be a TV reporter in both the U.S. and Japan, sort of a bridge between two cultures.”

While she was in LA, Koizumi saw Kurara Chibana representing Japan at the Miss Universe final in Hollywood in 2006. Feeling inspired, she applied for the Miss Universe Japan contest and came back to Japan for that in 2007, eventually becoming a finalist. “But what really changed my life was shaking hands with Michael Jackson at Narita airport in 2008,” Koizumi recalls. “I had gone to the airport as part of a welcoming group with Kurara, and as I greeted him, it was filmed by Dan Smith, a TV producer for Access Television. He hired me as a TV entertainment reporter and my career started to take shape.”

Since December 2008, Koizumi has been a TV host for "Backstage Pass" (on Fox Japan Saturdays at 1:30 a.m.). She and her fellow reporters are affectionately called “samurai divas” on the program. “Personally, I see myself as more of a ninja,” she quips.

“It’s a lot of fun interviewing movie stars, directors and musicians on the red carpet, and even more so when we do one-on-one interviews because then, I really can get to know them and hear interesting stories,” she says. “Tom Cruise is always great because he makes times for his fans. He looks into your eyes and shows respect. Angelina Jolie is another celebrity I admire for her charity and philosophy on life. Meeting people like her made me realize how being a star can empower you to help people and do something positive for society. That’s something that I want to be able to do.”

Besides her work at Fox, Koizumi appears occasionally on NHK World’s "Tokyo Eye" with Chris Peppler and reports for Pit FM radio, covering F1 races, interpreting and interviewing racing personalities at Tokyo’s F1 Pit Stop Cafe. From May, she will appear on Fox with Dave Spector to host a program called "Go! California," which will come on right before the popular "American Idol." “The final of 'American Idol' final takes place in LA, so 'Go! California' introduces all kinds of hot places in LA, as well as California in general, and we will talk about 'American Idol,' too,” explains Koizumi.

The intensive acting courses Koizumi took in LA and in Japan last summer have also paid off -- she will make her movie debut in the independent short film "It’s All Good," directed by Japan-based Norman England. Starring actor-model Shogen ("Bloody Snake Under the Sun") and singer Stephanie, it focuses on a husband and wife who find themselves philosophically poles apart and the alien parasite that reconciles their relationship. “I play a CNN-type newscaster, reading the news in the background,” says Koizumi. “The movie will be shown at the Yubari film festival in February.”

Being on TV, Koizumi is naturally mindful of what she wears. “I like to be sexy and fashionable, but not trashy. You’ll find me at H&M and Zara just like any other girls around my age. But I also enjoy the dresses we get to wear from designer Tadashi Shoji for red-carpet events. I especially get inspired by fashion whenever I go to New York or LA.”

When she is not working, Koizumi likes to watch romantic movies on DVD and does yoga. “Tokyo can be overwhelming, and it helps me relax,” she says. In future, she would love to do a TV drama or movie in the States and get more involved in charity projects. For the time being, her plate is fairly full (she jokes that some days she wishes she could be cloned). “I’m really enjoying what I am doing now and just have to be patient and see what happens next. Things happen for a reason but unfortunately, they never happen on your timetable,” she says.

For more info on Ako, visit http://ameblo.jp/ako-hollywood/ www.facebook.com/people/Ako-Koizumi/567927572

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


22 Comments
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Ako, you can interview me any day.

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Koizumi describes herself then as just a typical Japanese girl who didn’t know anything about other cultures.

Sounds like a perfect fit for Fox.

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Holy lordy lordy! would you like to hold my mike?

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-Sounds like a perfect fit for Fox.

Brilliant.

She at least looks decent.

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I don't understand how she lost to Riyo Mori in the 2007 Miss Universe Japan contest. She is a knockout. I'll bet the stars are happy to stop and chat to her.

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"Born and raised in Yokohama, Koizumi describes herself then as just a typical Japanese girl who didn’t know anything about other cultures."

A sad reality for a vast majority of Japanese, men and women....

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I concur to Altria.

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A sad reality for a vast majority of Japanese, men and women....

Agree, But perhaps not so much as Korea.

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"Born and raised in Yokohama, Koizumi describes herself then as just a typical Japanese girl who didn’t know anything about other cultures."

Then again, there's alot of western media filth like Hollywood and Fox TV channels holds tight grips on Japan's mainstream entertainment culture, on the otherhand the west won't give a nickel to Asian media let alone Japanese ones on their best watched screens. The few shows that do make it are relegated to obscure art house cinemas and ethnically targeted local TV channels.

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In Japan good media jobs are all landed on connection not on one's true ability.

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She's a hottie, but on Japanese television, there is always another hottie waiting in the wings to take over after a year or two. If Koizumi has any real talent, she will do better to avoid the cookie-cutter process of the Japanese TV industry and become a freelance announcer or work overseas for awhile.

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She's a hottie, but on Japanese television, there is always another hottie waiting in the wings to take over after a year or two. If Koizumi has any real talent, she will do better to avoid the cookie-cutter process of the Japanese TV industry and become a freelance announcer or work overseas for awhile.

By her looks, I doubt she would've made it on TV in Japan if it wasn't for her English skills and CAHLEH-FOR-NI-EH background.

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Fox has some good channels, such as National Geographic. I don't know much about "Backstage Pass," though. I wonder how much of an audience they can get if it airs at 1:30 a.m.

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I hope she is not like those airhead reporters you see on some Japanese variety programs. The girl waits in the corridor outside the star's hotel room, talking to the camera, telling us how "doki-doki" (nervous) she is. Then they go in and she shakes hands with the celeb, using the one line of English she knows. After that, they get one or two questions and that's it. Cut back to the studio and the cutie sits there with the rest of the panelists talking about her amazing experience of interviewing the star.

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Fox has some good channels, such as National Geographic. I don't know much about "Backstage Pass," though. I wonder how much of an audience they can get if it airs at 1:30 a.m.

If the miniskirt police can run for 14 years on TV Tokyo at 1:30AM, nothing is impossible!

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Yet another reason not to watch Fox. Or TV in general.

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I spent almost five years in LA, graduated from Santa Monica College...

That brings back sweet memories. There were a lot of cute j-girls at SMC. Though I never saw any of them in my classes. I guess calculus isn't very trendy (;_;)

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Ako's work ethic is amazing. She's worked really hard for her success. On top of that, she is one of the smartest, nicest, and most down-to-earth women I've met in Tokyo. One of my favorite people to hang out with. Her recent success doesn't surprise me in the least. Also, she's not just sitting around waiting for her future to happen. She's strategically planning for it. She'll go far. Sure, I'm biased. But that doesn't make it any less true.

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She sure doesn't look Japanese.

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A gal with gumption. You go, girl...

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She sure does sound more brilliant than the 'talento' I've read on JT so far...nice change JT!

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Then again, there's alot of western media filth like Hollywood and Fox TV channels holds tight grips on Japan's mainstream entertainment culture, on the otherhand the west won't give a nickel to Asian media let alone Japanese ones on their best watched screens. The few shows that do make it are relegated to obscure art house cinemas and ethnically targeted local TV channels.

Oh, most Japanese TV is stupid to westerners. If it were on I would not watch it and the networks would lose money. Seeing as though they are not in the business of losing money they don't air them to the vast public.

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