The popular idol group AKB48 announced at their Group Summer Festival last Sunday that they are recruiting new “part-time” members — for 1,000 yen (about US$10) an hour. Typically, potential AKB48 candidates must first undergo an arduous audition and trainee process before being promoted to regular members, but the “Part-Time AKB” campaign winners will bypass this long process.
Under the “Part-Time AKB” campaign, female candidates middle school age or older (and not already affiliated with a production) will compete in a preliminary screening and two auditions. The new members will be announced in late September.
The winners will sign a part-time contract with the AKS management company, and they will be able to perform in live concerts, appear in handshake events and other events, star in television programs and commercials, and do just about everything else that the main AKB48 members do.
The campaign’s official website will accept applicants until September 10th.
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