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AKB48 Indonesian sister group JKT48 introduces first 28 members

Music producer Yasushi Akimoto, center, stands with the 28 new members of AKB48's Indonesian sister group JKT48 at a news conference in Jakarta on Nov. 2. (Mainichi)
Music producer Yasushi Akimoto, center, stands with the 28 new members of AKB48's Indonesian sister group JKT48 at a news conference in Jakarta on Nov. 2. (Mainichi)

JAKARTA -- JKT48, the first ever foreign sister group to Japanese pop ensemble AKB48, unveiled its inaugural intake of 28 young women at a news conference here on Nov. 2.

"We want to be like AKB48!" enthused newly selected Ghaida Farisya, 16, and 13-year-old Rena Nozawa, a Japanese resident of Jakarta.

The lucky 28 were chosen from a field narrowed down to 51 by a paper application screening. Though the group is Indonesia-based -- the letters "JKT" are drawn from the city name "Jakarta" -- tryouts were open to all nationalities as long as the applicant lived in Indonesia.

"Even if you don't understand the words, if you sing hard you can sing as one," Yasushi Akimoto, the producer behind both AKB48 and JKT48, said at the news conference. "JKT48 will become a bridge between Indonesia and Japan."

Headshots and mini-biographies of the 28 girls were posted to the JKT48 website on Nov. 3.

(Mainichi Japan) November 3, 2011

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