Japanese government showed a new poster designed to raise public awareness against suicide, featuring an image of AKB48 group members.
The girls on the poster will also appear in a series of TV announcements to be broadcasted next month.
Suicide has become a serious social issue, with young people beginning to appear more on the list of those who kill themselves, according to an official in charge of the campaign.
”We’ve decided to ask cooperation from AKB, which can reach out to people in a broad range of generations,” the official said, quoted by Kyodo. The government had made an indirect reference to the group’s name in previous posters, but it later recalled them.
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan last year was 30,513, down 3.7 percent from the previous year, but over 30,000 for the 14th year in a row.
AKB48, one of the most popular “idol” groups in the history of Japan, was created in 2005 by TV and music producer Yasushi Akimoto.