Japan as Number One – Japanese now have the largest record market in the world, surpassed USA for the first time

  April 11, 2013

Quick summary of What’s happening in AKB48verse this week.

akbv48 ana collaboration

ANA (one of the two leading Japanese airline companies) launched the new collaboration campaign with AKB48 on 10th April.

Watanabe Mayu, Yokoyama Yui, Akimoto Sayaka, Kawaei Rina and Suzuki Mariya made appearances at it’s press event at Tokyo Forum, Tokyo.

The campaign, titled “Challenge for Asia by AKB48“, is lead by ANA, which is aggressively expanding it’s business in Asia, and targeting young Asians traveling through the area.

 For this campaign, ANA will broadcast special program feat. AKB48 in it’s flights – “AKB48 Greatest Hits medley hosted by Oshima Yuko and Watanabe Mayu” (aired in May in domestic flights, and May and June in international flights) and “Look Back of the past four AKB48 general elections” (aired in May and June in international flights).

ANA also make AKB48’s latest records available on it’s flights as well as major airports that cater their flights, so passengers can always grab and buy them on the go. The records available at ANA’s shop “ANA FESTA” comes with a bonus special CD jacket.

source: Mynavi

ANA launches project with AKB48 to boost travel in Asia (Mainichi English)

Watanabe Mayu: “I was longing to dress in cabin attendant costume once in my lifetime. I’m so happy that I can make that dream come true with members.”

“I want to lean Thai massage and massage my parents.”

watanabe mayu

Yokoyama Yui: “When I fly to distant cities like Fukuoka or Hokkaido, we take flight and see ANA’s cabin attendants dressed in neat costumes. But I didn’t imagine I would ever wear the costume as well.”

yokoyama yui

Akimoto Sayaka: “‘How to be independent?’ This has been always in my mind since I made a debut in AKB48. And I thought this general election is the best timing for me to graduate the group.”

“I think that having a thriving career as an actress is the best way to contribute to AKB48 even after I graduate the group. On one hand I want to make the most of what I learn in my AKB48 years, but on the other hand, I will never be afraid to experience new things, and challenge various roles.”

akimoto sayaka

Take a look at their official page! If you correctly predict top 10 members of the upcoming 5th AKB48 32nd single Senbatsu general election (and win the lottery), you will win tickets for AKB48’s overseas handshake events!!

predict election rankking

Takahashi Minami had talk with LDP’s secretary general Ishiba Shigeru at LDP’s HQ.

This is conducted for the filming of cable TV show, and is themed on “Leadership theory”. In the dialogue, Takahashi was taught life lessons from the leader of LDP, the majority party of Japanese parliament.

According to Takahashi, Ishiba told her “It’s stressful to be at the top.” and kindly gave her advises on how to deal with bashing and criticism.

After the dialogue, Takamina told press gathered at the event that “all of his words resonated with me. It was an incredibly meaningful experience.”

takahashi minami

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced record sales in Japan now surpassed US, making it world No.1 for the first time.

According to published data, total record sales of 2012 in Japan was 4.28 billion USD, a little larger than 4.13 billion, the number in US.

Japanese record association explained that this is because of the popularity of idol groups like AKB48 as well as thriving sales of greatest hits albums by veteran artists, while in US, record industry was severely affected by cannibalization between digital distribution and physical copies.

source: Yomiuri

For other AKB48 news, check out this page (in Japanese).