ABBA in Japan

Filmed: Friday 17 - Sunday 26 November

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Broadcast: This was NOT broadcast on TV, but shown in local halls in Japan

Release status: This programme was released officially on DVD in October 2009

Duration: 23:50

Shown in: Japan

Additional information

Documentary following ABBA around Japan at the press conference, radio & TV appearances, scenes at Narita Airport (where they also sing a little traditional song Ekorren (The Squirrel), in rehearsals for the TV special, etc. It looks like they are filmed at the ぎんざNOW! (Ginza Now!) TV appearance and also during the ABBA Special. Specific sections:

  1. ABBA arriving at New Tokyo International Airport at Friday 17 November 1978 at 17:05
  2. Press conference and reception party held at Hilton Hotel (renamed The Capitol Tokyo Hotel since December 2006) on Monday 20 November 1978
  3. Press Conference (Discomate Records) and flower presentation by official ABBA Fan Club also at Hilton Hotel, interviews with all four members; Benny, Björn and Frida trying to play the Koto (a long Japanese musical instruments with thirteen strings)
  4. Making Mochi in a ceremony called Mochitsuki where ingredients are pounded and then moulded into shape
  5. Magazine interview at the Hilton Hotel, Tokyo.
  6. Filming of ぎんざNOW! (Ginza Now!) on Friday 24 November 1978 on TBS television (overdubbed with If It Wasn't For the Nights (even though they were performing Summer Night City on the show)
  7. Nippon Cultural Broadcasting: interview at Radio JOQR and interview at No2 studio in Shinjuku
  8. Filming of ABBA Special at TBS Television (Saturday 25 November), both before and during the filming
  9. ABBA departed New Tokyo International Airport Sunday 26 November at 22:30.

Thanks to some Japanese fans, it's now clear WHY fans previously never had a good quality copy of this documentary on video. Here's the explanation from Japanese fan Reiko: "During the 1970s before MTV existed, there were not many opportunities to see foreign acts. Of course, there were video tapes to buy, but they were too expensive at that time, about 4 to 5 times more expensive. So, music shops used to rent the "promotion films" (36mm format) from the record companies and then show them to fans at big local halls. Behind-the-scenes shots during their promotional tour tour in Japan were of great interest for the Japanese fans, so it it assumed that it was made by ABBA's Japanese record company, Discomate. I saw this film at the city hall, when I was at high school.  During this period, the film was rented out everywhere in Japan. But, Discomate went bankrupt in the mid 1980s and since then, this film has been forgotten. So, the record company made the 36mm form film for general use and then they also made a copy on a video tape to secure the product."

So it would appear that somewhere along the line, a video copy has found its way into the fan market and been copied and copied - hence the bad quality that most of us have - until its release on the ABBA in Japan DVD in October 2009 that is!

Agnetha, Benny and Frida caught smoking

Thanks to Alexandre Carvalho, Mayumi Taheri, Jun Seo, Jozsef and Reiko Jesperson.

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