Japanese fans uncovered a scandal involving Yonezawa's use of a private twitter which also led to the discovery of Hirajima's private twitter. Tweets and photos from their accounts showed that both have been in relationships during their time in AKB48.
In less than 24 hours since the news began to spread online, the decision was swiftly made that both would be leaving AKB48. The official statement is that both requested to quit.
Both Yonezawa and Hirajima's Google Plus accounts attracted a substantial amount of hate messages which may have led to this swift decision. The blog post from theater manager Togasaki came at the wee hours of the morning which shows how serious this is.
This is the official statement, with messages from both girls:
(Translated by Aikyi @ Everyday48 forums)
NoticeOriginal blog post here.
Today, concerning Hirajima Natsumi and Yonezawa Rumi
They have stated, "We want to stop all activities as a part of AKB48"
This is a very sudden announcement, so I apologize from my heart.
Below are their messages that they would like to send to their fans.
I, Hirajima Natsumi, at this time has decided to
retire from AKB48 and Watarirouka Hashiritai.
I'm sorry for the sudden announcement.
For causing everyone trouble, I'm really deeply sorry.
To everyone who has always cheered me on, the members,
the staff and anyone related to AKB48, I'm really sorry.
Although I'm separating from AKB48 and Watarirouka Hashiritai,
from now on as Hirajima Natsumi, so that one day I can meet and be
supported by everyone again, I will do my best.
I'm really sorry.
I, Yonezawa Rumi
Today I have decided to stop my activities with AKB48.
For the sudden announcement, I'm sorry.
Right now I'm filled with thanks and apologies to everyone
who has supported me up until now.
Thank you very much for these 5 years.
They were 5 years of being constantly supported by everyone.
This time, as an individual I will continue to pursue entertainment activities.
To the members,
To all the fans,
for causing all of you trouble,
I'm really sorry.
That is the end of their messages.
For handshake events and other planned events,
they will be addressed at a later date.
Both girls have been in AKB48 for such a long time that it feels crazy that suddenly we'll be left without them... Granted, they didn't exactly get much work within the group, but it just feels weird... And I really really like them. I mean, I know it's the right decision, but I wish they could stay on no matter what. This is really unfortunate.