Owing to Akihabara’s pop juggernaut, AKB48, localities all over Japan have been rushing to create their own homespun idol groups. Some places, however, should have probably not rushed as much.
A group in Kashiwa City, Chiba released a casting-call for an all-girl pop group through a local information website called Maipure on 16 January. Things soon turned ugly as people began taking offence to the name of the group, Hot☆Spots.
At first you might think this is a simple poor choice of words in an area that must deal with the issue of nuclear radiation daily. The English phrase “hot spot” is often used in Japanese to refer to isolated spaces that have very high levels of radiation following the Fukushima incident. Kashiwa city has been rumored to be dealing with an unusually large number of hotspots recently considering their location.