At a press conference for the partnership between JYP Entertainment and Sony Music, company leaders revealed more information about their plans to launch a Japanese girl group, which will be jointly produced and managed by the two labels.

Attending the press event were Park Jin Young and CEO Jung Wook of JYP Entertainment and CEO Muramatsu Shunsuke of Sony Music.

Park Jin Young presented on the Nizi Project (Rainbow Project), an implementation of all three parts of his “globalization by localization” strategy: exporting Korean content, discovering foreign talent to create teams with Korean artists, and developing and producing artists in foreign countries.

Park Jin Young said, “For a month starting mid-July this year, I will personally be overseeing auditions in eight regions in Japan and two in the United States. Contestants will be chosen from Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.”

After contestants are chosen, said the producer, they will be brought to Tokyo, where 20 will be chosen to prepare for debut. “We are planning to air the process up to this point in a reality program, which will begin in October.”

The 20 finalists will train for six months at JYP’s training center in Korea, after which the final group members will be chosen for debut in November 2020. Park Jin Young added that in April 2020, there will be another program broadcasting the training process leading up to debut.

Contestant applications will start in May this year, seeking females between 15 and 22 years of age who are fluent in Japanese, regardless of nationality.

Park Jin Young explained the difference between Japanese and Korean idol training systems, which he plans to combine for this new girl group: “In Japanese idol culture, the training process is shared with fans, who cheer idols on throughout their process of growth, and they’re not afraid to show imperfections. Meanwhile, K-pop idols prepare and plan for a long time, and only debut once they’ve reached a certain level of preparedness.”

Park Jin Young said, “The goal is to create a group that not only promotes in Japan, but globally as well. Combining the strengths of both companies, I’m certain that we will see excellent results.”

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