AKB48 member Sayaka Akimoto 秋元才加 has announced on yesterday evening “AKB48 no All Night Nippon” radio show that she is resigning as captain of Team K. This is the result of the recent rumors/scandal surrounding her that she is involved in a relationship with the 56-year-old Sakura Wars creator Ouji Hiroi.
Earlier this week, Bungeishunju’s Weekly Bunshun magazine photographed Hiroi visiting the idol’s apartment in the evening and reported that he did not leave until the morning. where he had spent a night in her apartment.. Akimoto tearfully apologized for the trouble that the rumors have caused. She explained that what actually happens in her apartment to her fans on the radio show:
“I am responsible for the earlier report about the rumor with Hiroi Ouji-san. He is the stage director who I respect, I have asked Hiroi-san for help on stage performance of “Izumi Kyouka” since this summer. I’ve been to his house, and he has been to my house. I did not think anything of it, because Hiroi-san lives with his daughter, and I live with Umeda Ayaka. Moreover, since Hiroi-san is older than my father, I have never thought of him as a male. The day, we promised to have dinner together for discussions about acting, but my work finished too late, therefore he came over to my house. We kept talking about acting, but he fell asleep after a while, so I and Ume-chan decided to let him keep sleeping. I am woeful that it sounds like I’m making excuses. I’m sorry for all the fans who support me, and also for AKB members… I’m sorry. This became such a big issue, and it is all my fault. I should be the role model for other members, but I’m not qualified as a captain anymore. Therefore, I will resign as the captain of team K.”
Fans sent in many supportive messages, saying things such as “There’s no need to quit as captain” and “Isn’t it irresponsible of you to resign? Work hard without running away!” However, Akimoto insisted that she is not running away, and that she intends to start over and work hard towards becoming captain once again.
Gotta hand it to the tabloids for destroying the career of a young promising idol.