[identity profile] inala.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] koyama_corner
On April 30 Koyama appeared in an article in Yomiuri newspaper. On May 17 that same article appeared in The Japan News, the english version of the same paper.


k02

Sharing the english version.
k01


The Japan News May 17, 2014
Koyama reaches out
NEWS leader finds meaning in the human connection

As leader of the pop idol group NEWS, Keiichiro Koyama thinks he owes a lot to “news every.” — a TV news program where he serves as an anchorman and became the main presenter in January.

“The program helped me discover the meaning of my existence,” Koyama says about the show, which provides viewers with not only the latest news, but also culture, sports and a variety of other information in an easy-to-understand manner. It is aired on the NTV network on weekdays, from 3:50 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 4:50 p.m. on Fridays. Koyama appears in the program from Monday through Thursday.

Now aged 30, Koyama said he was often troubled in his mid-20s with the idea that he had no strengths in any field.
It was four years ago that Koyama began appearing in the program once a week. Since then, he has visited various places for reporting.

“I want to make reports in my own words, so my first priority is to visit the locations, myself,” he said.
*  *  *

Of particular note are his visits to areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake — more than 70 in total — since immediately after its outbreak.

Something to which he pays particular attention when preparing news reports is establishing trust with people by proactively meeting them and listening to them carefully.

“I drop by places where I’ve become acquainted during previous visits, such as makeshift shopping malls and temporary housing complexes, even if I have no plan to conduct interviews there,” Koyama said.

The March 11, 2011, disaster certainly must have been a painful experience for all affected.

“I think it’s too presumptuous to try to understand someone through a short conversation for about 10 minutes or so,” he said. Local residents sometimes look surprised when they find out Koyama is a member of an idol group run by Johnny & Associates.

Now, some people seem to feel so close to him that they make rice balls for him to eat during breaks.

“I think my role is to continue reporting [on life in the affected areas] so that the disaster will not be forgotten. I’d like to be involved in the news work until the day when all the disaster victims can say the reconstruction has been completed,” he said.

Koyama also hopes to broaden the scope of the news he covers.

“I hope I’ll be able to cover the 2020 Tokyo Olympics together with Sho Sakurai [of Arashi] and Kazuya Kamenashi [of KAT-TUN],” he said, referring to fellow Johnny members.
*  *  *

In contrast, the road has not been completely smooth for NEWS.

In autumn 2011, two members — Tomohisa Yamashita and Ryo Nishikido — left the group, which sent shock waves through the group’s fan base.

Before the departures were announced, Koyama met a girl in the 2011 disaster-affected area who said she had fled holding the group’s CDs when the quake struck.

“I felt really sorry for her, and I pledged that we’d make her smile by turning into a new NEWS,” he said.

Such encounters with individuals in the disaster-hit areas strengthens Koyama’s determination to step up efforts.
“There are not so many idols who can share agonies with their fans [like I did]. Thanks to such experiences, our bonds with fans are strong, and I don’t feel like we have fewer members. Rather, we feel like we have more,” he said.
Once the topic turned to his group, his solemn expression sometimes softened to a broad smile.

“I really like NEWS and our fans. If [Yuya] Tegoshi describes our fans as our girlfriends, I would call them my wives,” he said with a smile.

Certainly, the concert at Tokyo Dome in September last year, to mark the group’s 10th anniversary, revealed to all present at the huge venue the overwhelming feeling of unity between the group and its fans.

“We’d like to be a group that makes a priority of fans’ wishes, rather than our own,” he said.


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