Namie Amuro collaborates with After School, Tomohisa Yamashita, Kaname Kawabata on new album

Details of Namie Amuro’s collaboration compilation "Checkmate!" were officially confirmed on Thursday. Scheduled for release on March 23, the album includes four new songs: "Wonder Woman" with AI and Anna Tsuchiya, "make it happen" with Korean group After School, "#1" with Kaname Kawabata of CHEMISTRY, and "UNUSUAL" with NEWS member Tomohisa Yamashita.

"Wonder Woman" is already being used in a new commercial for Coca-Cola Zero. "UNUSUAL" marks the first time that Amuro has ever collaborated with an artist associated with Johnny’s Jimusho.

The album’s full tracklist has 13 songs. The CD+DVD edition has music videos for 7 of the songs, including the 4 new ones.

Amuro also recently announced an arena tour this year that runs from May 21 to October 8, with a total of 36 shows in 15 venues.

Karina cast for “Ashita no Joe” movie adaptation

Model and actress Karina has been cast as the heroine in the upcoming “Ashita no Joe” movie adaptation, starring NEWS member Tomohisa Yamashita as the boxer Joe Yabuki.

Karina will play the character of Yoko Shiraki, the daughter of the head of a wealthy corporate group who backs Yabuki’s rival, Tohru Rikiishi (Yusuke Iseya). The cast also includes Teruyuki Kagawa as Joe’s mentor, Danpei Tange.

“Ashita no Joe” is scheduled for release in spring 2011.