JKT48 (read as “J. K. T. Forty-eight”) is an Indonesian girl group whose name is derived from its base city of Jakarta and the Japanese idol group AKB48. Formed in 2011, it is the first AKB48 sister group outside of Japan and adopts the concept of “idols you can meet”. Fans can attend daily performances at the group’s theater, which was built as a close replica to the AKB48 Theater in Akihabara.
Producer Yasushi Akimoto decided to bring the AKB48 concept to Indonesia because the group had begun to develop a fan base in the country. Indonesia’s growing economy was seen as a potential market by many Japanese companies, and Akimoto established a partnership with these businesses and the country’s largest media conglomerate Media Nusantara Citra to replicate the AKB48 business model.
While JKT48 does not restrict membership by nationality, applicants must be residents of Indonesia. The group has 52 members and released its first studio album Heavy Rotation on 16 February 2013 via Hits Records, a division of MNC subsidiary PT Star Media Nusantara. It performs songs by AKB48 and other sister groups which are translated into Indonesian.