07 February 2012
Yonezawa Rumi and Hirajima Natsumi leaves AKB48
On February 4th 2012, Yonezawa Rumi and Hirajima Natsumi made their apology speeches at the AKB48 Handshake Event. There were 15,000 fans at the event, and they became so quiet you could hear a pin drop. While looking at the two members making their speeches, they could not stop their tears from falling. Below are pictures and a translation of their speeches during the event.
"I would like to apologize for causing troubles to the members, staff and all the fans, I am truly sorry. I have a lot of things I want you to understand but I have no idea how to express them. Having worked in AKB for 5 years, I feel really shameful for hindering the other members. I am also really sorry for betraying the fans. Though I've written down what to say earlier...(Encouragement comes from the fans in the hall)
I am able to stay in this group for 5 years due to the support from the fans. Having broken the rule, I am not sure if you still believe my words, but it is due to your support that I am able to come this far. It was really fun to dance and sing on the stage. Though it was tough at times, I am truly grateful. There are various rumours, but a lot of them are far from the truth. It also pains me to have caused trouble for members who are close to me and SKE members whom I like. Although it is a fact that I have broken the rules, the other members have absolutely nothing to do with this. Maybe my words are no longer trusted, (tears), but please continue giving your support to the rest of the members. (Yonechan call) From now on, I want to give my support to the members, staff and friends who have always been there for someone like me. Though I'm still unsure of what the future holds for me, I shall continue to work my hardest so as to receive support from everyone. I would like to bear everyone's words, be it harsh or kind. From now on please continue giving your support to AKB48. Thank you for these 5 years!"
"I am really sorry. I apologize for troubling everyone. I have troubled everyone with my thoughtless actions. I apologize for the inconvenience, and will be resigning from AKB48 and Watarirouka Hashiritai at this Handshake Event. I have really received a lot of love. I really love AKB48 and Watarirouka Hashiritai, though there were tough times, I have never once thought about quitting. I'm really glad that I was able to work as a member of ABK48. Though it's too late to say this, I wanted to appear more on the stage to perform with Team B together in the Tour. I'm very apologetic and shameless for having to leave AKB48 like this. I let my parents down even though my father was always the one to wake me up, and my mother was always there to support me. I have once again realized how painful it would be for me to be unable to see everyone's faces and hearing everyone's voice during performances in Akihabara. I want to appear in front of everyone again, I want to work hard with my 6 years in AKB48 as a support. Thank you for all the love you have given me. I am truly sorry. "
(Warm encouragement from fans at the event)