Keiichiro Koyama says meeting earthquake victims made him grateful he was in Johnny’s
The first time NEWS member Keiichiro Koyama stepped foot into the disaster zone following the Tohoku earthquake was on March 27. Although the Johnny’s talent already has a busy schedule, he pushed for the opportunity, saying he wanted to go there and tell people what it is really like. As a news reporter for “news every.”, Koyama has been to the disaster zone more than 20 times in the past year.
Magazine Josei Seven‘s March 22 issue reports on Koyama’s experience in the Tohoku region.
“I’d only seen the images on TV, but when I got to the disaster zone, I could see that everything all around me had been damaged. When I thought about the people who lived their lives here, I got so scared my legs would shake and it was impossible to say anything while keeping a straight face. But I also knew that it was my job to describe what had happened. I knew that going there once or twice wouldn’t be enough, I needed to keep going.”
Koyama also said he was nervous about interviewing survivors.
“You have no idea what someone might find offensive so I really had to think my questions through. One time the person I was talking to started crying. I apologized, saying I was so sorry to make them relive the moment, but they said, ‘it’s alright, I’m sorting out my own life’. I do my best to take in everything word for word.”
Lastly, the Johnny’s talent had said he thought it would not matter whether he was a pop star or not when he went into the disaster zone, but the survivors made him realise differently.
“When I went in to interviews survivors at an evacuation centre, there were hundreds of people from children to grandmas and grandpas. They’d give me a big smile and say, ‘thank you so much for visiting’. It made me so grateful about being in Johnny’s. Last year was a hard year for NEWS and I went through some hard times myself, but after going to the disaster zone, the people there would show me that I can get through it. They helped me.”