Atsuko Maeda is the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival Ambassador

On September 20th, the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) revealed its lineup for the October event. 15 movies have been chosen to go against one another.

The film festival will take place from October 20th to October 28th in Roppongi, Tokyo, where various movies are fighting for the highest award, “Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix”. American Director, Roger Corman, has been chosen as the chairman of the judging committee.

Currently, Japan is having strained diplomatic relations between China and South Korea due to island disputes. Film festival chairman, Yoda Tatsumi, discussed these issues in regards to the festival, “This is a place to share films without any borders. The festival is not influenced by these occasional situations. They do not have an impact on us at this time.”

Maeda Atsuko was also in attendance as the “TIFF Ambassador” to help promote the film festival. She showed her enthusiasm, “I love movies, so I’m looking forward to interacting with an assortment of people. I’ll do my best.”

AKB48’s “senbatsu” election names Yuko Oshima #1

AKB48 (pronounced A-K-B-forty-eight, as in English) is an all-female Japanese theater/idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto. Unlike other idol groups in Japan, AKB48 is theater-based and have their own theater in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo) where they perform once every weekday, and more than once on both Saturday and Sunday. The name derives from a shortened, Romanized representation of ‘Akihabara’.

The results of this year’s “senbatsu” election for AKB48’s next single were announced on Wednesday. In an unexpected outcome, top member Atsuko Maeda (who was #1 last year) had to settle for second place, as Yuko Oshima edged her out to claim the top spot.

Voting started on May 25 and ended on June 8. All members of AKB48, SKE48, and the kenkyuusei teams were eligible for the election. However, only the top 21 members will be featured on the upcoming single (to be released on August 18), while the next 19 members (#22 – #40) will perform the single’s coupling song as the “under girls.”

Maeda was expected to be #1 again, especially after leading on the first day. After the first week, she was ahead of Oshima by about 1,500 votes. However, Oshima surged in the past week to receive a total of 31,448 votes, while Maeda ended at 30,851 votes.

The top 5 members are:

1. Yuko Oshima (31448)
2. Atsuko Maeda (30851)
3. Mariko Shinoda (23139)
4. Tomomi Itano (20513)
5. Mayu Watanabe (20088)