Otaku USA Magazine
AKB48 To Resume Handshake Events
AKB fans descend on a handshake event – Karl Baron

AKB48’s “akushukai” – sessions where fans of the idol supergroup can meet and shake hands with their favorite members, have been on hold since an attack on two of AKB members at one such event in May.

Now AKB’s record label, King Record Co., is set to resume the handshake sessions. The first will take place July 5th at convention center Tokyo Big Sight under increased security measures.

The boosted security sounds a lot like taking a flight: attendees will have to pass through metal detectors and are allowed only one bag, which must be “smaller than a maximum of 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) in length, height and width combined.”

In addition, attendees bringing in beverages will be asked to take a sip in front of security guards. That one sounds pure Games of Thronesian.

Anna Iriryama and Rina Kawaei

Still, it’s hard to argue these events don’t need more security, seeing how easily Satoru Umeda was able to bring a 20-inch saw into May’s event and attack AKB members Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama.

King Records is asking fans to line up early to compensate for the extra time it’ll take to get through security. We’ll see whether these measures start have an effect on how many fans come to these events, which are a major source of income for the group.

Source: WSJ

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.