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AKB48 Producer Plans Taiwan48 Idol Group This Summer

posted on by Daryl Bunao
Yasushi Akimoto to work with local television producers to audition, train group

Yasushi Akimoto, the 54-year-old producer of the popular Japanese idol group AKB48, confirmed on Sunday his plans to create a similar Taiwanese idol group, tentatively named "Taiwan48." He intends to start up the new group this summer with local television producers. The producer revealed his plans during the Ima Sekai wa television program.

The plans for the upcoming Taiwanese idol group came together after Akimoto received offers from Singapore, Thailand, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Russia, and other locales. Akimoto also stated that "Taiwan48's" performances will be modeled after AKB48's current shows, which are performed daily in their own theater.

Akimoto's AKB48 is one of the most successful Japanese musical acts in recent years. The group's recently released 20th major label single, "Sakura no Ki ni Narō" (pictured at right), is now playing as the theme song for the live-action television series Sakura kara no Tegami ~AKB48 Sorezore no Sotsugyō Monogatari~. (The program stars all AKB48 members as themselves.) Released on February 16, the single sold 942,000 copies in its first week to achieve the sixth highest first-week sales in history.

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported last month that a television program will show the creation of the "localized" group in Taiwan this summer. In the program, local girls will audition for a spot in the group, and the selected members will then train before cameras.

Source: Sports Hochi via Tokyograph

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