TOKYO As the light faded to dusk in Osaka, Makoto Fukuda gazed anxiously toward the horizon. Moments later, the sky exploded with fireworks, synchronized to music from Japan's renowned Southern All Stars. The dazzling display continued, now punctuated with the sounds of pop singer Bruno Mars, later with the Disney hit "Let It Go."
Watching the fireworks streaking up from the horizon to become showers of light, Fukuda relaxed happily against a railing, scanning the audience for signs that his hard work in managing the event had produced the desired effect. He wasn't disappointed. Mothers and daughters in traditional summer kimonos hugged each other and laughed. Young couples held hands. Friends swayed to the music. A forest of cell phones were held high, capturing the exciting spectacle.