SKE48 Kenkyuuseis Hioki Miki and Itou Akane have announced their withdrawal from SKE48 during tonight's [Aitakatta] stage. Hioki Miki and Itou Akane were from SKE48's 5th and 6th Generation respectively. Both of them were not promoted to any teams during the SKE48 Gaishi Hall Concert shuffle.
Hioki Miki's reason for graduation is that she wants to pursue legal studies in university. She is currently 20 years old, and turns 21 on October. Itou Akane will also be graduating to focus on her studies, citing her difficulty in keeping up in both her high school and SKE48.
This news comes just under a month until the AKB48 32nd Single Senbatsu Election on 8th June 2013. Both of the girls will be withdrawing from the election, despite already submitting their application and their appeal video uploaded on YouTube. The number of participants for the election now drops to 246.
Hioki Miki's final activity as an SKE48 member will be AKB48's [So Long] Theater handshake event on 1st June 2013. Itou Akane will graduate immediately.
Hioki Miki's graduation speech (Translation by Bilingual48)
As a 5th gen member I've been working hard here for about 1.5 years. But in the meantime I'm also advancing in school and there are things I'd like to do on both ends. However I'm not able to commit to either side. So I've been thinking about what I really want to do versus what is my dream. I've come to the conclusion that they're studying Law in an University, and to bring smiles to those that need me. Ever since I was young I've wanted to either be an actress or find a job in the legal profession, and now, despite wanting to do both, I've decided to pick one.
The answer is law. I will not have any regrets from here on. My 1.5 years in SKE48 was short but I was blessed with the support of many fans, family, staff, and SKE48 members. From here on I will work towards my dream as a student and no longer as an SKE48 member. Please keep watching over me in the short time I have left. This also means I will be withdrawing from the Senbatsu Election. I would like to apologize to those that are supporting me. Thank you for listening to me today.
Itou Akane's graduation speech (Translation by Bilingual48)
I am Itou Akane. As of today I am graduating from SKE48. I entered high school in April, and have been working hard to keep up both sides. However it is very difficult and I've decided to focus on school. During my short time here, I experienced many things, including the Gaishi Hall and Budokan concerts, I am very thankful for these. I would also like to thank all my supporters, all the members and staff. I will work hard to achieve my new goal, please keep supporting me. Thank you very much.