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Chiba man drops plan to recruit girls from high-radiation areas for idol group

TOKYO (TR) – A 34-year-old businessman from Chiba Prefecture has scrapped plans to form an all-girl singing group composed of members residing in areas exposed to high radiation following complaints from local townspeople, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 10).

The manager, whose group was to be called Hot☆Spots, had solicited prospective members aged between 10 and 22 and living in northwestern cities in the prefecture through the distribution of leaflets and the Internet. Auditions had been planned for the end of February with the group debuting in April. Several application had been received, the paper said.

In the months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11 last year, radiation “hot spots” were discovered in some areas of Chiba, including Kashiwa City.

Local citizens said the plan to form the idol group lacked common sense. “It is different from our vision,” said a representative from the Kashiwa City radiation counter-plan office. “We would like to have a more pleasing image for the city.”

“I truly wanted to revitalize the area, but I failed to consider the uneasy feelings others had with the plan,” the manager is quoted by the Asahi. “In the end, it was shallow.”