Former Fuji TV announcer Akiko Kuji announced her engagement to NBA player Yuta Watanabe on live TV on May 26, having just left Fuji TV at the end of April.
Former Fuji Television announcer Kuji Akiko announced her engagement to Yuta Watanabe, who plays for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, the premier basketball league.
Speaking of Kuji, she left Fuji Television at the end of April this year. She is currently working as a freelance announcer.
She made the sudden announcement on Fuji Television’s noon live program, “Pop Up!” This program started in April as a follow-up to “Viking More,” which was hosted by Shinobu Sakaue, but it has been a dismal failure in terms of viewer ratings. The surprise announcement drew a lot of attention to the program. I guess you could say she owed her old employer a big favor.
And the other player is Watanabe, a Japanese NBA player, along with Rui Yamura. His performance as captain of the team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2009 is still fresh in our minds.
Watanabe, who plays in the NBA, is said to have an annual salary of about 300 million yen when his team’s annual salary and sponsorship fees are added together. And since there are only three Japanese players who have played in the NBA, including past generations, there will be no shortage of opportunities for him after he retires. It can be said that Kuji has chosen a good partner.
According to Kuji, they first met during an interview on Mezamashi TV in 2007 and their relationship began after the Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking of Kuji, she was reported to have been semi-living together with Yakult Swallows pitcher Hara Juri in 2007 and was often seen enthusiastically cheering for him at the ballpark. However, she was also bashed in the sports program she was in charge of for asking off-the-cuff questions about the players.
Kuji won the grand prize in the non-no model audition when she was a student, and in her first year with the company, she was put in charge of the flagship program for female announcers, Kujipan. However, her announcing skills and inability to ad-lib were pointed out, and she was gradually losing her spot on the show.
In the episode of Sanma’s Comedy Improvement Committee that commemorated Kuji’s graduation from the program, she became a topic of conversation when she cried so hard during a fight performance by the comedy duo Onigoe Tomahawk. Most people thought that she was too serious and that it would be difficult for her to work as a freelancer.
However, if she married Mr. Watanabe, it would be a great reversal of fortune. She can be expected to be active in various fields, such as the wife of an athlete and as well as a “mama-tare,” as she puts it.
Kuji boasts more than 460,000 followers on Instagram. With the announcement of her engagement, it seems that she will quickly become one of the winners in the highly competitive world of female TV announcers.