This is a long article but i will just translate the relevant parts…
Akimoto Yasushi started creating sister groups of AKB48 in different provinces of Japan since 5 years ago. His aim was to eventually achieve JAPAN48, with NGT48(based in Niigata) to be started this year. One would think that when JAPAN48 is created, it would be somehow linked to the 2020 Olympics.
“AKB and the Olympics are different. I am the overall producer of AKB48, but i haven’t thought about linking JAPAN48 and the Olympics together. I am participating not as the producer/lyricist Akimoto, but as a citizen of Japan,” says Akimoto Yasushi
As AKB48 is the representative idol group of Japan, there may be calls for them to be part of the Olympics.
“For now, no. Even if offers come in I will reject. Personally, i definitely don’t want to mix these 2 jobs together. I’m trying to pay back to the country without any selfish intentions.”