entertainment

AKB48 founder plans Japan48 idol group for Olympics, Phillipines spinoff

51 Comments
By RocketNews24

AKB48 founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto announced the formation of the Niigata-based idol group NGT48 at the “AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 1035″ event in Tokyo last Sunday. His aim in creating another local group, he says, is to ultimately form an idol group called “Japan48″ by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Japan48 will draw its members from each of the local “48 groups.”

NGT48 will be the fifth 48 group after AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, and HKT48. Starting member auditions for the group will begin in March, and the group will debut in October.

On why he chose Niigata, Akimoto said that AKB48, SKE48, and NMB48 are all based on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan’s largest island Honshu, but there was no group on the Sea of Japan side, where Niigata is the largest city.

Akimoto is also looking at other large Japanese cities, such as Sapporo, Sendai, and Okinawa. He hopes to form groups in these locations before the 2020 Olympics.

In addition, Akimoto is progressing in his plans to form a group based in Manila in the Philippines. Jakata, Indonesia and Shanghai, China already host the international 48 groups JKT48 and SNH48, respectively.

Source: Anime News Network

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan votes on the musical act they most want to see in the Olympic opening ceremony -- Japanese idol fan prepares to meet his favorite singer by filling out a marriage application -- Cool Japan has a plan!

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51 Comments
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I've suddenly lost the will to live.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Someone call James Bond 007 and tell him there is a nefarious plan to take over the World with '48' groups !!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

A pure money grab.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Another waste of oxygen.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess somewhere between Akihabara and Niigata this guy traveled over the ocean, because he has definitely jumped the shark.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This shows that the Jiji's are here to stay.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What a fine idea: let's reinforce to the world the stereotypic image of Japan sexualizating under-age girls for entertainment. Maybe some profiteer here could bring back the manga Rapeman for a special Olympic edition as well

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Nooooo please don't! The Olympic will attract all the Pedos to Japan.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Noooooooooooooo!!! :(

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Oh god, I am NOT looking forward to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I can just imagine SMAP coming out and shaking about as they hold on to their zimmer frames. And then young girls dressed up in a way to attract the world's dirty old lechers. Folks, don't forget the ear muffs (or ear defenders).

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I'm already embarrassed for Japan.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Wow. Who knew it would be a growth industry? Thought they'd just about run their course.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A great opportunity to showcase to the world just how advanced Japan is when it comes to idolising teenage girls!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Wow he's really thought long and hard to come up with that one!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

dokachin: Nooooo please don't! The Olympic will attract all the Pedos to Japan.

Really? I'm thinking the Olympic visitors will result in a decrease of percentage of Pedos in the population, until they leave.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Impossible. There are not enough youngish girls or young ladies left in Japan to staff one more of these groups.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a HUGE embarrassment this is going to be for Japan.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I hope somebody puts their foot down and stops this embarrassment from happening. Japan will be a laughing stock if any of the 48 group performs in the Olympic opening ceremony.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When my younger son was preparing to go to high school, we got dragged along to a certain private school explanation meeting for potential new students (we were considering the school in question as Plan B). Anyway, the principal of the school in question introduced Mr. Akimoto as a famous old boy of the school, at which my son rose from his seat in a crowded auditorium, and walked out, never to return. Made me feel rather proud as a parent.....

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Of course AKB48 should do something for the olympics they are part of Japanese culture

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

There are so many positive examples that represent aspirational facets unique to japanese youth culture, AKB48 founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto announcement presenting a global platform for his reprehensible form of fiscal exploitation of young women through a cynical carousel employment system is shameful false and cringe worthy on every level.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

They are part of Japanese pop culture but, seriously, showing these terrible idol groups would send Japan to a new low permanently. I doubt it'll change either, as the biggest fans are probably the ones organising the Olympics..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

'Of course AKB48 should do something for the olympics they are part of Japanese culture'

Binge drinking is a part of the culture I was brought up in. Thankfully, the London Olympics didn't include people fighting, throwing pint glasses at each other and engaging in projectile vomiting. There are some problems, like an unhealthy obsession with young girls or binge drinking, which need to be discussed but are perhaps better left out of a showcase of your culture to the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

That is some great prose. I particularly liked "a global platform for his reprehensible form of fiscal exploitation of young women through a cynical carousel employment system is shameful false and cringe worthy".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

seriously showing talentless hacks at the Olympics will not do Japans image any good. Im sceptical Japan can make an opening ceremony thatll be interesting to anybody but Japanese. Most Japanese traditional performances are a snoozefest to people who have no understanding of them. ( which will be 90%+ of the audience). the first time i went to Kabuki was with a date, I had to fight the whole way to make it look like i was interested and not embarrass the Japanese lady I was with. I say they should include a full war between two Samurai clans in the middle of the stadium with horses, spears sword, now thatll be something worth watching

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Watch the world cringe and mothers covering the eyes of not only their children but their husbands.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan will be the laughing stock of the Olympics. My condolences to the people of Japan that will suffer such shame over talentless Japanese idols.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The best reason so far to ignore the Olympics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Only the best modern talent that Japan has-I'm blown away....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Are there any girls left in Japan who haven't been invited to join this opportunist manager's groups?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I called this the moment tubby perv Akimoto was elected to the 2020 board. Unacceptable & quite frankly an embarrassment to the nation. I knew he'd use the national platform to milk as much of his own productions as possible. Japan Inc. strikes again!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If anyone actually pays attention to Japanese women, they are some of the most surprisingly talented women ever, some of them write excellent stories and some of them are wonderful musicians whether it be the woman who wrote the music for Castlevania or the women who wrote music for the metal gear solid series. So please don't put AKB48 up there, show some REAL talent from REAL Japanese women.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Seems like I'm a bit late to the AKB bashing party here. Here's the thing: AKB48 rules everything, and whether you like them or not, you can't deny their awesome presence in Japan. Last year, they put a BILLION dollars in Japan's economy. So while you were coming on JapanToday to bash these massively successful girls, they were busy DOING something with their lives. And to call them talentless hacks? Yeah, you try living the life of an idol, where 24/7 you are working nonstop to be a POSITIVE ROLE MODEL for women and men alike! Think about it: They don't drink, do drugs, smoke cigarettes, or heck, they don't even DATE, all for the sake of being pure and innocent and promoting such a wonderful visage for young Japanese girls to model themselves after. And yes, I realize not all of them believe in the rules of the AKB48 idol universe, but the majority of them do a darn good job of being great, lovely examples of Japanese women who actually care about other people besides themselves. Speaking of that, HOW MANY TIMES did all of you go and perform FOR FREE concerts in the tsunami affected regions just to lift the spirits of those poor people? Or for that matter, donate MILLIONS TO helping the tsunami victims who STILL have boats out of their houses? THOUGHT SO. Stop bashing AKB48. They aren't for the pedos, they don't even dress in a lecherous way (unless you count their mostly marching band costumes lecherous...that never did anything for me when I saw a girl fully clothed in marching band back at high school). If you want to cite the ONE video that was hyper sexual (i.e., heavy rotation), you should blame the FEMALE director of that video, Mika N., who is known for taking women's sexuality and portraying it in an artistic fashion. Concurrently, most of the people I've seen at AKB48's handshake events are young men and young GIRLS. I've barely seen any ojisans or otousans lining up with their perv smiles plastered on their faces. It just isn't what really happens at those kind of events. Try going to one... you'll see it's nothing but youthful smiles and wota camaraderie all around. Then again, AKB's antis have always made the girls stronger and more determined to dominate everything in Japan, so if you must continue to criticize something you don't understand, then SHOGANAI ne? I, for one, am PROUD to see them do what they do, and I can only hope AKI-P will keep expanding and creating such a positive archetype in the form of the AKB singers for all of us to try and aspire to be like. And yes, they are FAR from perfect and have had their hiccups, but one thing they can claim proudly that none of you can't: They don't get on websites and bash others like all of you do. That right there makes then better than ANY of you ever will be in your lives.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

You know it's bad when even Matsuko Deluxe calls AKB48 embarrassing.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

^djv124 lol, and no.

The thing is, I am having a hard time trying to think what Japan can actually include in the opening ceremony that will not be cringy or lame, or boring. Nothing which is relevant to modern Japanese culture today, and that isn't just lifted from the West really exists. Unique stuff; this AKB paedo stuff... and what?

Sure, they can do a whole history of ancient Japanese Samurai stuff which will be alright, but what are they going to do for modern stuff? Show a large sea of braindead young people staring at Line on their phones shuffling through train stations?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

djv24: Last year, they put a BILLION dollars in Japan's economy.

How much do they get paid? Isn't it some teeny amount per performer?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wow! djv very long and angry message!!! I don't like AKB but I respect your passion to them. Very good

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Having Akimoto in the Olympic board was the worst decision ever. There are so many other fascinating things Japan can show to the world besides idols. Just look at the opening/ending of the Beijing and Sochi Olympics as examples.

Maybe there ought to be a petition to oust Akimoto from his position. Otherwise, it could end up embarrassing for Japan in 2020.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Beware the spread of the cult of Yasushi Akimoto...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is this pseudo pedo-worship really going to catch on overseas?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"On why he chose Niigata, Akimoto said that AKB48, SKE48, and NMB48 are all based on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan’s largest island Honshu, but there was no group on the Sea of Japan side, where Niigata is the largest city."

Gosh, that simply screams creative genius doesn't it? During my long career in Japan, at the public and private level, I have encountered nothing but risk-averse anti-visionary old fogies running the game. That they are going to come up with something good or delegate such decisions to younger/brighter minds sounds highly unlikely. Say what you like about China but they were wise enough to put aside their differences with the awesome director Zhang Yimou and let him take over. Pick some anime god like the late Kon Satoshi and let him have a run at it.

And what's this "by the Olympics" stuff--does this mean they will indeed play a role in the opening/closing ceremonies. Weep if it were so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@djv124,

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You see, I really don't think they'll be able to come up with anything better. It's not that there isn't anything else - I mean hell, if they swallowed their pride for a moment and took on some 'foreign' advice and ideas (let's face it, the world will be watching) then I'm sure they could create something spectacular, mixing any of the nice traditional things they have for a modern audience - as the other posters have said.

The PROBLEM, I feel - again, as other posters have also pointed out - is that I highly expect they'll be making something for a Japanese audience - personally, my money is another version of the annual Kouhaku. I just...I dunno...I shake my head every time, but I just don't think Japan really 'gets' it...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Don't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hi HongoTAFEinmate in all honesty I am trying not to succumb to feminist harping. The UK media will jump at this to judge a whole generation as dysfunctional and link the idol culture to a percived preoccupation with a 'child' genre, in a particularly mocking derogatory insinuation that manifests responsibly for the countries depopulation crisis.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kurisupisuJAN. 29, 2015 - 01:42PM JST Only the best modern talent that Japan has-I'm blown away....

Japan has some of the legitimately talented musical bands, yet of all the choices, they had to go with the Idol group for the Olympics.

I bet the sexism would dramatically reduce if the government put some harsher restriction on the entertainment business with the idols. So far, Japan seems to show a very little initiative in positive progress.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AKB48 ? Meh. Hatsune Miku would be better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kjv124

Speaking of that, HOW MANY TIMES did all of you go and perform FOR FREE concerts in the tsunami affected regions just to lift the spirits of those poor people? Or for that matter, donate MILLIONS TO helping the tsunami victims who STILL have boats out of their houses? THOUGHT SO.

Well, you got a good point here. They have done quite a lot by donating money to disaster relief. They have also continued their community service long after the initial relief efforts ended.

There are some things about the AKB organization that is cringe inducing but it is undeniable that they have made positive contributions to Japanese society. Not to mention all of the jobs that have been created. By the time they have formed up a new group in every major town in Japan there will be very few women in Japan without a job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice. I hope that they will perform in Taiwan soon. :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One difference between AKB48 and America's Rockettes is that videos of the Rockettes don't normally feature close-up camera shots up the skirts of individual dancers or focusing on individual girls' bikini bottoms. This alone should be reason enough to search for other performers, without getting into all the other hair-cutting drama the group carriers. Most of all though, shouldn't choosing AKB48 to do the show be considered a conflict of interest given the fact that their producer Akimoto is part of the Olympic committee along with AKB48 photographer Mika Ninagawa (who incidentally shot a video of AKB48 in sexy lingerie)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sons, and they have many songs that are really meaningful and beautiful. So before you go bashing on them, about how they are not talented and such, don't talk unless you know them, and I mean know them, not just know about them, there is a huge difference. Another thing Akimoto writes a big majority of all 48 and 46 songs, I mean the guy is a genius, a normal person would not be able to do that, majority of people take at least a year to come back with a single or an album, and if they do they usually get it from different writers. Akimoto has done a lot for Japan, and wether people like it or not he impacted Japanese culture in general. Also Japan is known for it's uniqueness..that is one of the reasons why people find it so fascinating, just look at all the videos about Japanese pranks, even about Japanese comercials. Think about it, most countries usually do similar opening ceremonies for Olympics, you know they will pass about how their country was formed, and how it is now, but Japan has a lot of history and also a lot of innovation, and they have contributed to the whole world. I mean c'mon if it wasn't for Japan we wouldn't have anime, no Mario Bros. no Final Fantasy, no Street Fighter...I mean my parents lived in Mexico majority of their lives, and somehow my dad knows about Power Rangers and he would talk about how he would play Street Fighter in the arcades. I mea we woud not have Godzilla if it weren't for Japan, and I could go on. That is the true issue right there, Japan has too much to offer. The whole point of an opening ceremony in the olympics is for the host nation to show what the essense of their nation is about. AKB (idols in general) is a big part of Japanese society. I would think there probably would be a vocaloid(most likely hatsune miku), AKB, and maybe a rock act since Jrock is pretty succesful in and outside Japan, probably ONE OK Rock..right now they are pretty much on top, and a johnny's group, SMAP has disbanded so most likely it could be Arashi, they could also put Mizuki Nana since she is at the top of her game right now and she is not only a succesful singer but a seiyuu and is popuar worldwide, or it could be a solo artist with global recognition such as Utada Hikaru (since she is making a comeback) , or Namie Amuro. I would not count out the chance that Exile could be in the mix, like I said Japan just has too much to offer. I can assure you though, if AKB does perform I am sure that Aki-P would put a lot of thought into their performance, the have a vast selection of songs, and I can tell you, there are many songs that would appeal to non-idol lovers. One of the reasons I'm such a huge AKB fan (and other akb fans are as well) is because they don't just have bubbly songs, and even some of their bubbly songs are meaningful. Whatever they decide to do, I am sure that it be anything but dull, and something only Japan can do, at least I know it would be memorable. I mean in Rio they were talking about global warming and if you see the musical acts,they are not all acts, that whole world would like, but still they represented their country to show the world what Brazil is about. Japan would do their own thing, just as always, and some will find it amazing, other would be weirded out, and then some would be in between asking wtf Japan but mesmerized at the same time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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