Hit tunes by the all-girl pop group AKB48 and its rival, Nogizaka46, and a 1960s duet song still popular in karaoke, have been selected for departure melodies at three subway stations in central Tokyo.

Tokyo Metro Co., the operator of nine subway lines in the city, said Wednesday that Akihabara Station on the Hibiya Line will feature "Koisuru Fortune Cookie" by AKB48. AKB stands for Akihabara, the capital's electronics district and a hub of subculture, and is also the group's birthplace.

"Kiminona-wa Kibo" (Your Name is Hope) by Nogizaka46 will be played on the platform of the group's namesake station, Nogizaka, on the Chiyoda Line.

An old hit song, "Ginzano Koino Monogatari" (A love story in Ginza), sung by the late actor Yujiro Ishihara and singer Junko Makimura, will naturally be played at Ginza Station on the Hibiya Line.

The three songs will replace departure beeps currently in use at the stations in the spring.

Tokyo Metro said it received many suggestions for the three tunes when it asked for song ideas on its website last year. The songs also matched the image of the stations and their surrounding areas, the company said.

The subway operator is gradually replacing the beeps with melodies at its stations, totaling 179 on nine lines. Melodies have already been introduced at 114 of the stations to inform passengers of a train's departure.

An average 6.8 million people use Tokyo Metro lines every day.