AKB48 sets "airport-level" security measures in response to violent attack

6 June 2014 / 2 years 4 months ago

In response to attacks against AKB48, the group has set up security measures that have been described as "airport-like" in its theater and for its upcoming senbatsu election event.

Follow the May 25 attack, AKB48 shut down its theater for the remainder of May. On June 2, the theater reopened to strict security measures, reports Jpop Asia.

Prior to the attack, AKB48 employed 8 security guards. This was increased to 17.

Bags were placed in lockers before entering the theater. At the entrance, all belts, coins, watches, wallets, keys, and glasses were placed in clear bags while those in attendance passed through metal detectors manned by security guards.

For anyone who set off the metal detector, security guards immediately used metal detecting wands and did body checks.

The police were present to advise and monitor the new security measures. In addition to the airport-like security patrons went through to enter the theater, the front row of the theater was left empty, reducing capacity from 250 to 229.

"I apologize for the worrying we've caused. We have resumed our performances at the Akihabara theater. We ask for your cooperation and patience with the stage passage being blocked off, the presence of metal detectors, the the railing in the front row," Minami Takashi, AKB48's general director, told the audience before the group's performance.

"The reason this is a Team A performance is because that is the team Kawaei and Iriyama belong to. Right now, we are missing members, but until the two girls return, we'll do our best to defend this theater. Please lend us a hand and continue supporting this group, AKB48. Let's have fun together," she continued.

Regarding AKB48's upcoming senbatsu election event, an official stated that security measures would be on par with what has been implemented at AKB48's theater.

230 security guards will be in place as well as armed police. Fans will have to go through a metal detector check before entering the venue.

"We will open doors 3 hours early to get through everyone. Our position is that no matter how long it takes, we want things to be perfect," the official said.

70,000 people are expected to attend the senbatsu election. It will also be broadcast live on Fuji TV.

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