Just an hour ago, HKT48 announced that 5 of it's members have left the group for personal reasons. Those members are (left to right) Eto Sayaka, Komori Yui, Sugamoto Yuko, Taniguchi Airi and Nakanishi Ayaka.
The members' profiles have already been removed from the HKT48 Official Website profile page, and their Google+ accounts will be deleted tomorrow, 19 Aug at 13:00 JST. More details regarding the handshake events involving those 5 members will be announced soon.
Though no other reason was given for the sudden withdrawal of 5 members, rumours have been flying around for the past 2 days about a scandal involving those 5 members. This is only a rumour, so take everything with a grain of salt.
A user on the Japanese equivalent of Yahoo Questions had posted a short article describing how Sugamoto, Taniguchi, Eto and "another unconfirmed fourth member" (which turned out to be Nakanishi) had been meeting a number of boys after shows at the theater. According to the poster, who claims to be a friend of one of the boys involved, they girls had been consuming alcoholic beverages and smoked cigarettes.
For a few days the four members hadn't been posting on their Google+ accounts, so fans felt something was going on behind the scenes. In addition, on Thursday evening, Komori posted an unexpected graduation announcement on her account - which got removed only minutes later.
This comes as a shock for many of us, HKT48 was doing fine and suddenly 5 members drop out from the group all at once, with 1 of them being my HKT48 oshimen too. My only interest in HKT48 has just left ;___;
The scandal could be false, but it fits nicely with the timing and was posted before the graduation and not the other way around. Have they not learnt anything from NMB48's scandal? Not to mention the ages of these members, Taniguchi Airi is only 13!