AKB48 member Sayaka Akimoto (22) declared on Friday’s "AKB48 no All Night Nippon" radio show that she is resigning as captain of Team K. The move is the result of the recent negative publicity surrounding allegations that she is in a relationship with multimedia creator Ouji Hiroi (56), after it was discovered that Hiroi spent the night at her apartment.
Akimoto tearfully apologized for the trouble that the rumors have caused. She explained that she and Hiroi had watched a movie at her apartment, but he fell asleep and she chose not to wake him up.
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.
Akimoto’s replacement has not yet been decided.