Last month on 30.11.2011 the Mainichi News on-live reported the following:
On 30th (of November) the NHK announced the 55 teams of singers who would participate in the "62nd New Year's Eve song shows" in the New Year's Eve. The first seven participating teams chosen would include Ashida Mana, a popular child actor, and Suzuki Fuku. Both at the age of seven, they became the youngest in the history of the Red-and-White.
The theme would be "to sing for tomorrow". With the thought of recovering from the East Japan great earthquake, singers that came from the stricken area were also chosen. Participation for the first time was confirmed by the "Iwashirokozu", formed by the musicians from Fukushima; also for the first time was Mr. Toshiyuki Nishida a native of the Koriyama-shi, Fukushima; also participating after 22 years was confirmed by Mr. Sen Masao from Rikuzen-Takata-shi, Iwate. Members of the Inawashirokozu "want those people who are still in Fukushima and also those who have escaped out of the Fukushima prefecture who had suffered from the great disaster to get together as one".
Others who would participate for the first time would be the South Korean female group "Girlhood", and the KARA etc. Ms. Matsuda Seiko, participated for the first time after ten years would co-star with her daughter, Ms. Kanda Sayaka. NHK was subject to gang exclusion ordinance and would enforce it on the same day. It had distributed the documents to all participating singers to assure that there would be no relationship with a gang. It asked for the singer's signature by the side of the contents. When it was broken the contract would be canceled.
So at least two familiar and old faces will appear in the coming Red and White Song Contest.