All-girl AKB48 spawns Thai, Filipina sister acts


All-girl idol group AKB48 plans to add branches in two more Southeast Asian countries — Thailand and the Philippines, its management agency said.

BNK48, to be based in Bangkok, and MNL48, in Manila, will join the AKB48 family as its newest sister groups, while Taiwan’s TPE48 will finally take shape after its formation was announced in 2011, Tokyo-based AKS Co. said Saturday.

The group color of TPE48 will be yellow, representing the color of mango, while MNL48 has decided on blue, one of the main colors in the Philippines flag, according to the AKS’s website.

BNK48 has meanwhile decided on pink, representing the color of an orchid, a popular flower in Thailand.

AKB48, which marked its 10th anniversary last December, already has active sister acts in Jakarta and Shanghai, as well as four Japanese cities outside Tokyo.