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Junichiro Koizumi Unveils Elvis Statue In Japan

August 14, 2009 | People

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, 67, attended a ceremony in Kobe Harborland on Sunday held to unveil the Elvis Presley statue that sat outside the Love Me Tender store in Tokyo’s Harajuku since 1987, but was removed in January this year following the closure of the store.

Koizumi joined the crowd of about 1,000 Elvis Presley fans who braved the rain for the unveiling of the statue, which was originally paid for by the former prime minister along with contributions from several hundred other fans. Koizumi said that his love for Elvis was handy in diplomatic relations at times, and in the end seemingly outshone the statue amid the cries of “Jun-chan” that came from the crowd.

Kobe, known as the birthplace of jazz in Japan, was chosen as the new location for the statue after locals campaigned to have it brought to the port city. Harajuku was chosen for the first site in 1987 – 10 years after The King’s passing.

In 2001 BMG Japan released a special compilation CD with the former Japanese prime minister's favorite Elvis Presley hits.

I am Buffalo-Horn! wrote on August 15, 2009
Well done Mr Koizumi! Can hardly see our Scottish Mafia (The Yakuza?!) of Blair & Brown getting involved like this...
Brian Quinn wrote on August 15, 2009
What a great Elvis fan Mr. Koizumi is. If only all Elvis fans were as positive.
PRESYER wrote on August 15, 2009
Mr Quinn, I 100% agree with you ! And a great hello and thanks to Mr Koizumi for everything he did and still do towards Elvis Aaron Presley !
circleG wrote on August 16, 2009
i loved Koizumi's visit to graceland with president Bush. It was a real wake up call to america showing just how much elvis means outside of the USA. I think it made the US media re-think things a little.