July 28, 2016
Sho Sakurai (34)（桜井翔） is a member of Arashi, one of the most popular boy bands in Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Keio University, which is one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan. In addition to being a singer, he also works as an anchor for NEWS ZERO. NEWS ZERO is broadcasted on NTV (Channel 4) Monday through Thursday at 11 pm.
His family is widely considered to be an elite Japanese family. His mother, Yoko Sakurai, is a professor of Japanese literature at Komazawa University and his father, Shun Sakurai（桜井俊）, is a former official at the Ministry of Communication and Internal Affairs. His sister, Mai Sakurai (30) （桜井舞）became a correspondent at a major broadcaster, NTV after graduating from Seijo University, where many children of well-connected families go. His brother, Shu Sakurai (21)（桜井修） is a student at Keio University, and is a member of the rugby club at the university.
After graduating from Tokyo University, the most prestigious national university in Japan, Sakurai’s father started working at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in 1977. When the ministry was eventually consolidated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he moved over to that ministry. On July 31, 2015, he became the Administrative Vice Minister, which is the highest position a civil servant can occupy within the ministry. (As is common in many countries, ministers are elected officials, so career civil servants cannot be ministers.) On June 17, 2016, he resigned from his position with the Administrative Vice Minister. The Administrative Vice Minister’s term lasts for a year. After he stepped down, he became an advisor to the Ministry of Communication and Internal Affairs.
In a TV interview that aired in 2013, Sho Sakurai revealed that his father had opposed his career in show business since his singing debut in 1999. However, the two began to reconcile when his father agreed to come to his first solo concert in 2006. Ever since then, they maintained a relatively friendly relationship. Last year, Sho Sakurai purchased a second house in Karuizawa for his parents. Karuizawa is a luxurious resort in Japan and many celebrities, including Bill Gates, own houses there. Sakurai’s second house is reported to be worth two hundred million yen (approximately $1.95 million).
His father, Shun Sakurai is rumored to be the LDP’s preferred candidate for the next Tokyo gubernatorial election. An election to replace former governor Yoichi Masuzoe is expected soon, since Masuzoe resigned on June 15 after allegations of misuse of political funds. Shun Sakurai is reported to have initially turned down the LDP’s requests that he run, but the media reports indicate that the LDP has not given up and continues to pressure him to run. However, on July 1, the LDP announced that they finally gave up trying to recruit him for the election.