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This "idol group" started up in December 2005 with songwriter Yasushi Akimoto as general producer. The concept is "idols you can go to meet." The female performers have their own "AKB48 Theater" in Akihabara and give daily shows featuring song and dance. They have given a total of 2,004 shows so far in front of about 500,000 people (through July 31, 2010). Members are selected by auditions throughout Japan. There are a total of 68 members: 48 performers and 20 understudies. Their latest song is "Beginner," their 18th single, to be released on October 27.
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