- Title: JAPAN: Japanese fans and celebrities get excited at Japan premier of "This Is it"
- Date: 1st November 2009
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 28, 2009) (REUTERS) CONFETTI BEING FIRED IN THE AIR AT THE RED CARPET EVENT BEFORE THE JAPAN PREMIERE OF "MICHAEL JACKSON - THIS IS IT." POSTER OF "THIS IS IT" HUNG BEHIND THE STAGE FANS WAITING FOR CELEBRITIES TO SHOW UP AMERICAN SINGER LIONEL RICHIE WALKING ONTO STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIONEL RICHIE, AMERICAN POP SINGER, SAYING: "The part that you're going to see tonight is the part him being the real Michael which is the hard working guy but at the same so easy to get along with and just around... the guy I know." LIONEL RICHIE WAVING HAND TO FANS ON THE STAGE
- Embargoed: 16th November 2009 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Reuters ID: LVAAHACDM2I1S162IDU4RFTSNEGH
- Story Text: Nearly six hundred Japanese fans excitedly watched the red carpet event ahead of the Japan premiere of "Michael Jackson - This is it" on Wednesday (October 28) in Tokyo.
The red carpet was rolled out in Tokyo's Roppongi entertainment district for former sumo wrestling star Akebono and the US singer Lionel Richie who praised the film:
"The part that you're going to see tonight is the part him being the real Michael which is the hard working guy but at the same so easy to get along with and just around... the guy I know," said Richie.
Among nearly two dozen Japanese celebrities who marked the event was Crystal Kay, a Japanese top singer well-known for her Japanese, South Korean and African-American background.
"I have been a big fan of him even before I was able to speak. I liked to mimic him dancing while shouting 'Ho'," said Kay.
"This is It", a feature-length film built around footage of the final Los Angeles rehearsals before Jackson's death on June 25 aged 50, hit around the world on that day and looks set to be one of the biggest movies of the year.
It has booked more than three hundred screens across Japan for next two weeks.
A female fan said she could not believe it was his posthumous film.
"I'm eager to see the movie... though I feel as if he is still alive," said Miwa Nakazaki, a 19-year-old student.
Suzumi Arita, a 5-year old girl who said she masterd Jackson's dance watching her mother's DVD collections of Jackson's live concerts, showed off her dance in front of the camera.
"I like Billie Jean the most," Arita said.
In the film, Jackson was rehearsing "Human Nature", from his 1982 album "Thriller", apparently singing on stage himself and working with musicians to coordinate music with his dance moves.
He also performed "The Way You Make Me Feel" with a group of dancers, and appeared to be moving relatively well and freely.
Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the footage of Jackson in This Is It, and Jackson's estate and AEG Live were to share the profits. Pre-sales ahead of the theatrical release have been particularly strong in the United States, Japan and Britain.
Jackson had visited Japan a number of times. Most recently, the pop star visited a Tokyo children's home in 2006 and told a group of 140 excited children "I love you" in Japanese.
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