Exile member Akira becomes ‘ambassador’ for hometown, thrills students at old school

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Exile member Akira shows his dance moves in front of students at Fujimi Elementary School in his hometown of Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, in late September.

SHIZUOKA — A member of the popular song and dance group Exile thrilled students at his old elementary school when he suddenly showed up in connection with his appointment as an “ambassador” for public relations for his hometown.

The city government of Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, appointed Exile’s Akira among five people associated with the city as goodwill ambassadors under a program established this fiscal year.

Akira attended the induction ceremony in late September at city hall for the new ambassadors, where he shared his childhood memories with Iwata Mayor Hiroaki Kusachi. He was also informed on the extensive damage caused by Typhoon No. 15.

After the ceremony, Akira, known for his dynamic dance moves, paid an impromptu visit to his old school, Fujimi Elementary School. The sudden appearance by their famous alumnus drew a loud roar from the students, who were in the middle of practicing a dance specially created by Akira for his alma mater aptly called the “Fujimi Elementary School Dance.”

Seeing the dance performed with such enthusiasm by the 600 of so students, Akira said, “It’s very important for everyone to dance together as one. You all had wonderful smiles.”

A 10-year-old fifth grader said, “It was fun, like we were performing in a live concert.”