AKB48 Resumes Handshake Events With New Security Measures
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Idol group AKB48 will resume hosting handshake events starting on July 5 with a large handshake event at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center. The official website for the group explained that because staff were addressing operational concerns and security issues, they decided to postpone all handshake events in June. The staff have been working with security firm JSS, and preparations are now complete on the new security measures for handshake and photographing events.
Security personnel will now hand search all bags, and attendees will have to pass through a metal detector. Attendees are limited to bringing one bag per person, and the three dimensions of the bag must not exceed 90 centimeters. Attendees also cannot bring their bags with them when they actually shake hands with the group members.
Additionally, the new AKB48 documentary film, titled Documentary of AKB48 The Time has come Shōjo-tachi wa, Ima, Sono Senaka ni Nani wo Omou?, will cover the May handshake attack incident. The film is slated to open in Japan on July 4. The film, which is the fourth documentary about the idol group, will cover the group's activities from January 2013 to June 2014, with particular focus on the handshake event incident and reactions from the other members in the second half.
On May 25, a man attacked AKB48 group members Anna Iriyama and Rina Kawaei at a handshake event in Takizawa, Iwate Prefecture. A male part-time staff member was also injured. Kawaei suffered a laceration and bone fracture in her right thumb, while Iriyama suffered a fracture in her right pinky finger and a laceration to the head. The male staff member suffered cuts to his left hand. Both idols underwent surgery and were then released from the hospital. The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Satoru Umeta, allegedly admitted to the charge of attempted murder on Iriyama and Kawaei after he was arrested.