February 7th, 2012

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Sugai Madoka wins Prix de Lausanne

Japan's Madoka Sugai won the top prize Saturday at the Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious international ballet competition for young dancers aged 15 to 18. 

Sugai, a 17-year-old high school student in Tokyo, also won the prize for contemporary dance.

"I can't believe that I won," Sugai told reporters after an award ceremony. "I feel as if I am still in a dream of dance."

Sugai will be awarded a scholarship to cover her tuition at the ballet academy of her choice for a year. Sugai said she wants to go to Birmingham Royal Ballet in Britain.

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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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Nishiyama Maki and Saotome Taichi are in a relationship!

On February 5th, stage actor Saotome Taichi (20) and model Nishiyama Maki (26) returned to Japan together from their trip to Hawaii. The couple was very open about their relationship, holding hands until they left the airport.

Saotome wore a hood over his head to hide himself from reporters, while Nishiyama covered her face with a mask. Nishiyama was also seen wearing a ring on her left ring finger.

As reporters approached the couple, they asked, “Is it true you two are dating?“. Saotome admitted to their relationship saying, “Yes.” However, when asked about marriage, he quickly answered, “No.”

Reporters also asked the couple if they enjoyed the shopping and the beaches in Hawaii. To this, Saotome replied, “Yes.”

After going through the arrival gate, the couple was welcomed by 2 men from their agencies and immediately left the airport.

According to sources, Saotome and Nishiyama met through a mutual friend, and started dating sometime last year. Recently, Nishiyama has been seen attending Saotome’s stage performances, and on their days off, the two spend time together going on dates.

Since the couple was spotted returning from a trip, sources say that they have a fairly close relationship. Saotome’s agency also acknowledged the relationship saying, “They’re not going to get married yet, but they have a good relationship.”

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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Korea-Japan ties face 'clashing' months ahead

Disputes brew over Dokdo, textbooks, East Sea name

By Park Si-soo

South Korea’s diplomatic relationship with Japan will likely further deteriorate in the months to come over ongoing history disputes between the two countries. The prediction is based on a string of annual events that are scheduled from later this month to April in what appears to be a revival of Japan’s imperial ambitions. These events are likely to provoke Koreans who are extremely sensitive to any such matters as a result of Japan’s colonization of the peninsula between 1910 and 1945. Some analysts here don’t rule out the possibility that the expected crack in Seoul-Tokyo ties could be wider than previous years, citing widespread nationalism in Japanese politics amid the worsening recession.

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Source: Koreatimes

AV star Kirara Asuka does not deny relationship with Yu Darvish

Adult video actress Kirara Asuka captivated a press corps on Sunday by not outright denying the existence of a relationship with pitcher Yu Darvish during an event held in Akihabara for the release of the film “Futari Ecchi the Movie 2 — Second Kiss,” reports Yukan Fuji (Feb. 6).

Yuri Morishita and Kirara AsukaAsuka, 23, was linked to the Texas Rangers 25-year-old right-handed hurler in an article published in Shukan Jitsuwa (Feb. 16). The article refers to an ongoing dialog between the two on Twitter (Yu Darvish, Kirara Asuka).

“What can I say?” said the AV actress, who appears with co-star Yuri Morishita in the film, a love story based on the manga “Manga Sutra — Futari H” by Aki Katsu.

Darvish, the Japanese pitcher who recently signed a six-year $60 million deal with the Rangers, and his actress wife, Saeko, finalized their divorce agreement in January.

Shukan Post (Feb. 17) ties the pitcher to popular professional golfer Miho Koga, who retired last year.
When asked if she would like to partake in a sexual encounter with Darvish — in a direct reference to futari ecchi in the title of the film — Asuka said, while giggling, “Not a chance.”