Music Japan to End in March

Today, NHK made several announcements about its programming for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in April. One of those announcements was that Utada Hikaru would be singing the theme song for the new asadora, “Toto Nee-chan.”

Another announcement was that “Music Japan” would be ending in March. The show debuted in 2007, replacing “Pop Jam”, which had been on the air since 1993. There will be no replacement for “Music Japan.” Instead, the more youth-oriented acts that would normally appear on the show will now appear on a new show, “Uta Con”, which debuts in April.

“Uta Con” is not a new show exactly. It is more of a successor to NHK’s current enka / kayokyoku show, “NHK Kayo Concert”, which ends in March after 23 years. Essentially, “NHK Kayo Concert” is expanding its breadth to include more youth-oriented acts and being renamed “Uta Con.” “Uta Con” will air on Tuesday nights just like “NHK Kayo Concert” currently does. However, instead of taking the 8 PM – 8:45 PM slot that “NHK Kayo Concert” current occupies, “Uta Con” will air at 7:30 PM – 8:15 PM.

Also, Bananaman’s “Banana Zero Music”, which has had a few random airings in the past, will now be a regular series. The music variety show will air every Saturday night from 10:20 PM – 10:50 PM.