Photo/IllutrationMembers of the Arashi idol group appear at a news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 3. (Rumi Hayashi)

Pop idol group Arashi opened accounts for a social media blitz a year before the suspension of the quintet’s activities at the end of next year.

At a news conference on Nov. 3, which marked the 20th anniversary of their debut CD, the five members of Arashi announced they would immediately begin posting to the group’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other sites.

From 7 p.m., 65 singles by the group will be available for the first time through a music streaming service.

The group opened a dedicated YouTube channel on Oct. 9, and it has already gained close to 2 million subscribers. A music video of their latest single will be offered on that channel at 9 p.m. on Nov. 3.

“I hope our fans will enjoy the sense of speed that only comes from live postings,” member Sho Sakurai said.

Masaki Aiba said he had been studying up on how to post on social networking sites and wanted to be careful to avoid misspellings and other minor errors.

The group had not been allowed to have any social networking accounts, but members pressed for a change, partly in light of the announced suspension of group activities as of Dec. 31, 2020.

“Having people from around the world enjoy the music of (talent agency) Johnny & Associates Inc. was the dream of Johnny (Kitagawa) who died in July,” member Jun Matsumoto said.

Kitagawa was the founder and president of the talent agency that developed many popular male idol singers.

Arashi also announced concerts scheduled for May 15 and 16 next year at the New National Stadium in Tokyo. The stadium, slated for completion at the end of November, will be the main venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Arashi had performed at the former National Stadium for six straight years since 2008.

Member Kazunari Ninomiya said the group would be honored to hold a concert at the New National Stadium. He said that his only wish is “that it does not rain” during the shows.

The group will hold news conferences in Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei on Nov. 9 and 10 for local fans. Arashi is also scheduled to perform in Beijing next year.

“We want to repay our gratitude to all our fans in Asia who have cheered us on until now,” Aiba said.

Group leader Satoshi Ohno said: “We have been able to come this far because of our fans’ support. We hope you will continue to support us in our new challenges.”