Otaku USA Magazine
AKB48 Creator Apologizes for Sub-Group’s Nazi Costumes

Keyakizaka46, one of several AKB48-related all-girl musical groups, is in hot water after its members appeared on stage October 22 in outfits that resembled those of Nazi SS officers.

Now both Keyakizaka46’s producer and record label have apologized, citing a “lack of oversight.”

Yasushi Akimoto, creator of AKB48 and its sub-groups, wrote on the Keyakizaka46 website:

“Those stage costumes were unacceptable. I had no advance notice of it so I couldn’t check them. I don’t think the staff purposefully made costumes reminiscent of Nazis, but I failed to execute proper oversight as producer and I am truly sorry for that.”

Separately, Sony Music Entertainment wrote, “We express our heartfelt apology for causing offense … because of our lack of understanding. We take the incident seriously and will make efforts to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident in the future.”

This is not the first time a Japanese pop group has gotten into trouble for an incident showing a clear ignorance of history. Though, as both Akimoto and SME noted, it is unlikely any offense was intended, ignorance-as-excuse only goes so far in 2016.

Keyakizaka46 are a sister group of Nogizaka46. Their debut single, “Silent Majority,” was released in April.


Source: BBC, AP, Xavier Bensky

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.