Tokyo: What do you think of AKB48’s no-love-life clause?


Chris Glenn
Radio DJ / talent, 40s (Australian)

I can understand their handlers want to keep the girls potentially available, just as I’m sure they want their stable to concentrate on their performances, not boys. It works to prevent any scandals too, while maintaining a pure image in a very Japanese way, where the puppet masters keep a very tight rein.

Nefertiti Khalfani
English teacher, 26 (American)


I don’t really know much about AKB48 and what they are all about, but it sounds ridiculous if they have such a policy in place regarding bans on boyfriends. I think (the members) should be allowed to do whatever they want.

Satoru Watanabe
Chief executive, 48 (Japanese)


To be honest, I personally feel really sorry for them, but they are teens now, and this is their job. It’s show business and they decided to get into it so, as far as I see it, as questionable as this concept may be to some, it just cannot be helped.

David Fennell
Tourist, 26 (English)


I’d say it is understandable from some standpoints, as with any stars they have to be seen as available and their appeal is based on that. Having said that, it seems to be going too far to kick someone out (for having a relationship).

Saori Iwata
Student, 20 (Japanese)


I think it is bad that the AKB girls cannot have boyfriends, as that is part and parcel of a normal life. In the situation they are in now, with the ban on boyfriends and relationships, they are just not free, which is wrong. It is not fair or OK to control them in this manner, no matter what the reasons behind it.

Kengo Miyabe
Part-time worker, 68 (Japanese)


Banning romantic relationships is necessary to manage such a large group of girls, but they are young, and anyone in the group in a relationship would be less attractive to fans. That said, I expect they would secretly defy the rule and follow their hearts, at the end of the day.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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  • Kahuna

    It is great publicity for the group. The girl should leave the band and fall in love and start her own career she is famous enough and doesn’t need to be in a girls group anymore. The managers can replace girls who do not follow the rules of the band, it seems heavy handed management style but these girls are teen stars who are interchangeable and no one can be bigger than the “team”. I think that the group now has to come out with some hit songs as good as KPOP groups and stop acting like toy dolls.. and sing in English. Some girls who find their own zen, their own path and confidence or who want to be in love.. should graduate the group, come to Hawaii.. sit on the beach and sing romantic songs about being in love like human being… there are a lot of their fans who would be happy to grow old with them and want to hear songs about real life.

  • WithMalice

    It’s an inane and ridiculous provision. As stated by Hifumi Okunuki, in all likelihood it’s an illegal addition to their contract, and probably has no legality within the contract.

    These years are amongst the best years of their lives – live them, without the stipulations of greedy old men.