After forcing NGT48 idol Maho Yamaguchi to apologise to everyone for causing trouble after coming out that several men assaulted her, the idol groups management faced the ire of fans. Many of which even called for the resignation of NGT48 theater manager Etsurou Imamura. Now, the group’s website has revealed that Imamura has indeed resigned, with Maiko Hayakawa replacing him.
The website also released a statement reiterating that the police only identified two suspects, and denied that any NGT48 model has told these suspects of Yamaguchi’s home address. There are still rumours of a third suspect still at large, and it seems that management is denying that. They also stated that their investigation hasn’t found any “unlawful action” by any of their members. However, they’re still tapping third-party experts and lawyers to investigate the incident further.
Meanwhile, AKS talent agency’s akumi Matsumura, Maiko Hayakawa, and Tsuyoshi Okada recently held a press conference concerning the matter. Companu director Matsumura opened with an apology, not just to the fans, but the NGT48 members as well. He also apologised for their delayed response, stating that they wanted to check with the police first.
In light of this, members of other AKB48 sister groups have also weighed in. Of course, the most prominent one lately is HKT48’s Rino Sashihara. The idol sent her full support to the embattled NGT48 member, and even sent her a few words of encouragement.
— K3-PO3号機 (@k3pomitabi) January 13, 2019
Appearing in the “Wide Na Show” program, she ripped into the group’s management, saying that they made every single bad decision. She also added that they shouldn’t have downplayed the situation and let it continue this way. And then, a host suggested that some NGT48’s members go bald, as doing so solves several problems. To this, Sasshi said that those things solve nothing. She then added “I don’t want to believe that there are members like that in the group, so I want to hear from their words directly. And if there are people out there spreading information, I want to see a reaction (from management).”