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J-pop boy band stars distribute meals in typhoon-hit Chiba Pref.

J-pop boy band Arashi's Jun Matsumoto, third from right at rear, and other artists managed by talent agency Johnny & Associates Inc. pass a meal of curry and rice to a girl at a hotel in the Chiba Prefecture city of Tateyama, on Sept. 22, 2019, two weeks after Typhoon Faxai hit the area. (Mainichi/Fumitaka Nakajima)

TATEYAMA, Chiba -- Members of J-pop super groups managed by the Johnny & Associates Inc. talent agency distributed curry to locals including kindergarten, elementary and junior high school children in this typhoon-hit city on Sept. 22.

Arashi's Jun Matsumoto, KAT-TUN's Kazuya Kamenashi and six other music stars served 800 plates of curry at the entrance and cafeteria of a hotel in Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. The space was provided by the inn, closed since Typhoon Faxai hit the area over the night of Sept. 8-9, knocking out windows and doing other damage to the facility.

The curry meals were part of the Smile Up! Project launched by the influential talent agency to support relief activities in areas devastated by major disasters.

Matsumoto and other all-male pop band members tried to cheer each child up with the words, "Hang in there," while distributing the food and beverages.

Tickets for the event were handed out at three elementary and junior high schools as well as three kindergartens the day before. Kids and their parents formed a long line in front of the hotel. Some also took commemorative photos with the J-pop stars.

(Japanese original by Fumitaka Nakajima, Tateyama Local Bureau)

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