Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg will additionally host concerts under the Live 8 banner, Bob Geldof confirmed today (June 16). Organizers are expected to officially announce the new locations tomorrow

Tokyo, Toronto and Johannesburg will additionally host concerts under the Live 8 banner, Bob Geldof confirmed today (June 16). Organizers are expected to officially announce the new locations tomorrow.

Speaking in Dublin to receive an honorary doctorate, Geldof said Japan and Canada were chosen in part to pressure the respective countries' governments to increase aid to Africa.

Geldof conceived the July 2 Live 8 concerts as a poverty awareness event. With simultaneous music programs staged in London, Philadelphia, Paris, Berlin and Rome, the initiative is intended to influence world leaders ahead of the G8 summit July 6-8 in Scotland.

Meanwhile, Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons has stepped up to help produce the Philadelphia edition after being approached by politician Bobby Shriver.

"I got the call in the middle of the night and I said 'yes.' I am coming in to help organize Live 8 in Philadelphia," Simmons says.

Simmons played-down recent criticism that Geldof had widely excluded Afro-Caribbean and African artists from the Live 8 line-up. "This is about having the right global acts to raise awareness about the problems in Africa; it is not about promoting African artists," he said. "I spend a lot of time fighting anti-Semitism, but I am not a Jew. Thank God for Bob Geldof; he's doing the best he can and I am happy to work for him." As previously reported, the Eden Project venue in Cornwall, England will host the Africa Calling concert on July 2 to showcase African artists.

Simmons was speaking today at the year's Mobile Entertainment Market 2005 trade show in Earls Court, London, where he unveiled the European launch of wireless content service provider Def Jam Mobile.