TOKIO is a popular Japanese pop/rock boyband formed by Johnny & Associates in 1994. It is made up of five men, starting from Sony Records, now from Universal Music Japan. The group members (from the youngest to the oldest) are:
* Nagase Tomoya (長瀬智也) Vocal, B.November 7, 1978, Blood type: O
* Matsuoka Masahiro (松岡昌宏) Drums, B.January 11, 1977, Blood type: A
* Kokubun Taichi (国分太一) Keyboards, B.September 2, 1974, Blood type: O
* Yamaguchi Tatsuya (山口達也) Bass, B.January 10, 1972, Blood type: O
* Joshima Shigeru (城島茂) Guitar, B.November 17, 1970, Blood type: O
"Tokio" is an old romanization in English of the city Tokyo in Japan.
It is said that TOKIO is the only group which could sing, dance, make music and lyrics, and play instruments in the POP world. They started as a band in 1994 with their debut single, “LOVE YOU ONLY.” Since then, they have produced 14 albums and 37 singles including “Get Your Dream!“ which is Japan's theme song for the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany. “Ambitious Japan”, released in 2003, was the image-song for the JR NOZOMI shinkansen. Masahiro Matsuoka has directed TOKIO’s music promotion videos since their December 2002 single 'ding-dong'.
TOKIO also performed the song "7 O'Clock News," used as the first opening theme for the anime series Kodomo no Omocha. But due to licensing issues, the song does not appear in the North American release of the series. A theme from later in the series was substituted, the Japanese soundtrack on the DVD release was silenced whenever the song played (it was replaced with other music on the English soundtrack), and even a reference to the band in the show's first episode was removed.
TOKIO's latest single, "Sorafune/do! do! do!", has been having very impressive sales. So far, it's sold over 350,000 copies and is still charting in the Top 50 3 months after its release.
In addition to their activities as a band, TOKIO also act in dramas and host variety programmes, both as a group and individually.