On January 23rd, 2017, Sho Sakurai, a member of Arashi and an assistant anchor of News Zero participated in an interview regarding the death of Mao Kobayashi.
Sakurai has been an assisstant anchor at News Zero since its start in October 2006, and worked with Mao Kobayashi, who was also an assistant anchor until she resigned the show in March, 2010 to marry Ichikawa Ebizo. In the interview, a teary-eyed Sakurai mentioned that he felt as if he had lost a family member. The interview was about three minutes long.
On June 23rd, New Zero reported the news of Kobayashi’s death in the beginning of the show with flowers on the spot at the table where she used to sit at.
On June 26th, News Zero broadcasted a tributary program for Mao Kobayashi, which was titled, “Mao Kobayashi -The 34 years that she lived being sweet and strong.”
Below is a transcript of his comments.
“I had worked with Mao Kobayashi for three and half a year since the first telecast of News Zero. News Zero is truly a heart-warming show, so casts and staff members are referred to as the Zero family. Therefore, I feel like I lost a family member.
We sent a handwritten messages by all staff and cast members and including the main caster Murao. We were hoping that she would get better, even by a little bit.”