Michael Jackson in Japan to receive MTV award

MTV Japan will honour Michael Jackson with its Legend Award this weekend, with the pop star scheduled to make his first major public appeance in nearly a year.

MTV Japan will honour Michael Jackson with its Legend Award this weekend, with the pop star scheduled to make his first major public appearance in nearly a year.

Jackson arrived in Japan on Friday for the awards ceremony, according to a local spokesperson for the singer.

Jackson's weekend plans also include visiting an orphanage on Sunday, touring Tokyo and meeting with business leaders.

"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," Jackson, 47,said in a statement.

His participation in Saturday's ceremony would be Jackson's first official public appearance since June 2005, when he was acquitted of child-molestation charges in the U.S.

Shortly after the trial, Jackson moved to the Gulf state of Bahrain, where he has been working on a new album and a charity single to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.

However, he hasn't been able to dodge problems at home in California.

Mounting debt forced Jackson to restructure his finances. And he was forced to lay off most of his staff and shutter his California estate known as Neverland Ranch after state officials discovered that he owed employees back wages and had let his insurance lapse.

Jackson's regular spokesperson, Raymone Bain, said the Japan trip will launch an Asian tour for the singer. Stops are also planned for Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong.