• Kyodo

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Six members of pop idol group AKB48 staged a special show in Beijing to thank the Chinese public for its support after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The members of the all-girl group performed three songs in front of around 500 fans Friday, at an event held to demonstrate Japan’s gratitude for China’s postdisaster assistance and also to support devastated areas in Tohoku by displaying local specialties.

“Thank you for supporting us at the time of the disaster,” AKB48 member Ayaka Umeda said. “We’d like to perform live concerts all over the world this year, including in China.”

AKB48 is popular in China and around 14,000 fans applied for the 500 seats at the concert, according to the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

The group was scheduled to hold another concert China’s capital Saturday before moving on to Shanghai and then Hong Kong to perform at similar events.

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