Arashi's Sho Sakurai (27) will play the lead role in a documentary drama special about the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995. The program is tentatively titled "Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai Kara 15 Nen: Kobe Shimbun no Nanokakan ~Hisaichi ni Ikita Kishatachi no Tatakai~" and will air on Fuji TV next year.
Also known as the "Kobe earthquake," the massive earthquake struck the southern Hyogo prefecture on January 17, 1995 and resulted in more than 6,400 casualties. The drama will focus on the reporters working for the Kobe Shimbun, who were determined to keep the newspaper running without interruption, despite the damage suffered during the earthquake.
The characters in the drama will all be based on real people, using their real names. Sakurai stars as the photo reporter Tomohiko Mitsuyama, who had joined Kobe Shimbun four years before the earthquake. The show will also have documentary segments such as interviews, including an appearance by Mitsuyama himself.
Fuji TV will broadcast the show in January 2010, which will be the 15th anniversary of the earthquake.