Michael Jackson to Kick Off Asia Publicity Tour in Tokyo

Michael Jackson plans to make his first public appearance since his trial acquittal last June at a ceremony in Tokyo to accept MTV Japan's "Legend Award," his spokesman said.

Jackson's participation in the award ceremony Saturday at Yoyugi Olympic Stadium will launch an Asian tour. Jackson also plans to visit Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said in a telephone interview from her Washington, D.C., office Thursday.

Bain, who said she was en route to the airport to join Jackson in Tokyo, said the star plans to visit orphanages, tour the city of Tokyo and meet with members of the Asian business community during his trip.

Jackson has been living in Bahrain since his acquittal on child molestation charges in Santa Maria, Calif.

The Asian tour is being organized by Broderick D. Morris, chief executive of Positive Productions Yokohama, an entertainment promotions company, Bain said.

"Michael Jackson is a legend. ...He loves Japan and we love him," Morris said in a press release. "We look forward to welcoming him."

Jackson was quoted as saying, "I look forward to my visit to Japan because I have so many fond memories of my visits there. I thank MTV Japan for this honor and Mr. Morris for spearheading this visit.

"I look forward to seeing old friends and saying hello to my huge fan base in Japan who, like my other fans around the world, have for so many years consistently shown their love and support to me and my family."

Bain said that Jackson plans to return to recording and hopes to release a new album in 2007. Meanwhile, she said work continues on the song he has planned as a charity fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina.