Yoshiki and KISS

The traditional New Year’s Eve music show “Ko­haku Uta Gassen” (red and white song battle) will have some international star power for this year’s show, when rock legends Kiss will perform with Japanese superstar Yoshiki.

Co-founder of the hugely popular band X Japan, drummer and pianist Yoshiki made the announcement after making a pair of surprise guest appearances at Kiss concerts in Japan.

A self-described superfan, Yoshiki has said that Kiss was instrumental to his life as a teen, following the untimely death of his father.

“KISS saved my life… Tonight, my dream will come true!” he posted to his Twitter page ahead of his Dec. 11 appearance with the band at Tokyo Dome.

Yoshiki also joined Kiss for an encore at their concert Tuesday in Osaka.

Possibly to biggest television event of the year in Japan, the year-end show commonly known simply as “Kohaku” will mark its 70th edition on Dec. 31.

Two singing teams compete, with the longtime veterans of music and the hottest new stars joining to form two teams to perform and compete. The contest ends at midnight, after which viewers and judges vote for the winning team, and to celebrate the new year.

Locally, TV broadcasts have followed the mid­night tradition, but this year, an earlier start time is scheduled.

Local broadcaster Japan Hollywood Network, Channel 44.1, will air the popular year-end special twice, at noon on Dec. 31, then again on Jan. 1, also beginning at noon.

The music and variety special runs until 5 p.m. both days.

Most local cable systems carry Channel 44.1. Over-the-air broadcasts are free with an antenna connected to your television. For more information, visit http://jhollywoodnet.com (English and Japanese).

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