The popular idol group AKB48 announced at the AKB48 Group Summer Festival on 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 audition and become trainees before being promoted to regular members. However the “Part-Time AKB” campaign will bypass this long process, similar to Glico’s campaign to recruit a member over 30 years old earlier this year.
Under the “Part-Time AKB” campaign, female candidates of middle school age or older (who are not already affiliated with a production) will compete in a preliminary screening and two auditions. The new members will then be announced in late September. The winners will sign an part-timecontract for 1,000 yen an hour with the AKS management company. They will then perform in live concerts, appear in handshake events and other events, star in television programs and commercials, and do just about everything else as one of the AKB48 members.
The campaign’s official website began accepting applicants at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday (8:00 a.m. EDT)
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