The “Kohaku” Red and White Music Festival will be hosted this year by (from left) Fumi Nikaido, Yo Oizumi, Teruyoshi Uchimura and Maho Kuwako.

The Red and White Music Festival, known most commonly in Japan as “Kohaku,” will be aired in Southern California this year beginning at noon on Dec. 31, and again at noon on Jan. 1, over KXLA Channel 44.1.

The broadcast is presented by Japan Hollywood Network, and can be received over the air for free across the Los Angeles County and Orange County area. The station is also included in most local cable system lineups.

The 71st edition of the perennially popular NHK program, which brings many of Japan’s most popular music acts to the stage, will be hosted this year by Teruyoshi Uchimura and NHK announcer Maho Kuwako.

The show pits two teams against each other to perform long-standing classics as well as the hottest current hits.

The red team captain will be Fumi Nikaido, while the white team will be led by Yo Oizumi.

Pop idol supergroup Arashi returns to Kohaku this year.

Due to the pandemic, this 2020 version of Kohaku will be held without an audience. The theme of this unusual year will be “Now is the time to sing, everyone cheer.” This year’s festival is filled with the wish to uplift everyone’s heart tired and hurt by the coronavirus and to ring in 2021 with a brighter mood.

Among the featured artists who will perform this year are:

Red team – Perfume, Superfly, Seiko Matsuda, Kaori Mizumori, Juju, Nogizaka 46 and Sayuri Ishikawa, who makes her 43rd appearance on the show.

White team – Arashi, Masaharu Fukuyama, Hey! Say! Jump, Mr. Children, Yuzu Keisuke Yamauchi and for the 50th year, Hiroshi Otsuki.

Hard-rockers BabyMetal make their debut on the annual showcase.

For pop stars, making their debut on Kohaku is confirmation of their ascent to the top of the music world in Japan. Appearing for the first time this year will be Hiromi Go, BabyMetal, To­kyo Incidents, Sakurazaka 46, NiziU, Eito, Six Tones and Snow Man.

Japan Hollywood Network can be viewed by anyone that can receive a broadcast over-the-air television in the KXLA broadcasting area. Those who receive via antenna can find it on Ch. 44.1. For cable and satellite users, check your lineup for channel numbers.

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