Sayaka Akimoto, AKB48′s 2nd generation member and Team K ex-team leader, has revealed that she intends on graduating from the AKB48 and will not be playing a part in the 5th AKB48 General Election. She states her reason for leaving as deciding she wishes to concentrate on her acting career.
The following statement is from her blog and translated by Tokyohive.
The Senbatsu General Election. Today is the deadline to run as a candidate for the general election.
Until the very last minute, I was thinking in my own way if I would participate, and while I was thinking about it, it also led me to start thinking of when the timing for my graduation would be.
These past 8 years, I’ve learned and felt a lot of things, and enjoyed the joys of my youth. Because of Akimoto Sensei, staff members, fans, fellow members, family, and other innumerable supports, Akimoto Sayaka is here now. I’m truly grateful.
However, my thoughts that I wanted to step up to a new world while keeping things I learned and experienced from AKB48 in mind, and that I wanted to gain more experiences in order to pursue my future dream to be an actress, got stronger.
Thus, after thinking thoroughly, I’ve decided to make an announcement at this point of the general election.
I, Akimoto Sayaka, will graduate from AKB48 without participating in the upcoming Senbatsu general elections.
There are no further details on when her last theater performance will be or when she will formally graduate from AKB48. She did take part in the recent Tokyo Auto Salon in Singapore though.