On April 14, only one day after Kikuchi Ayaka had announced her graduation, Katayama Haruka did so as well. She wants to become a musical actress. Her last handshake event will be on September 23, the same day as Kikuchi Ayaka's last one. Her graduation show has not been decided yet but it is planned for the time after that handshake event. She will participate at stage shows of Team A, the team she was shuffled to at the Daisokaku Matsuri, until then.
Katayama Haruka joined AKB48 in late 2006 as part of the 3rd Generation and became an original Team B member. She was transferred to Team A at the first shuffle, later to Team B and now A again. She ranked in the election several times: 2009 at #29, 2010 at #37, 2012 at #48 and 2013 at #34. Even though her graduation is planned for later this year she did not announce her candidacy for this year's election.
Katayama Harukas's comment on her graduation
At today's theater show, I announced my graduation.
I have worked in AKB48 for 7 years and while I learned a lot of things I found my dream: musical actress. I want to perform several plays and want to do musicals seriously!! I strongly felt that I want to become a full, proper actress and so I decided to graduate. I think that the world outside will be even harder than now and that there will be lots of hard and painful things too.
In AKB48 I was not able to stand at the center position but I will definitely stand at the center position of the musical world and at the center at the Imperial Theatre (note: famous theatre located in Toyko)!! Even after my graduation I will work hard as 'Katayama Haruka' in order become known by more and more people and I will become a splendid musical actress!! A stage show after the handshake event in September will be my last activity. There is still half a year left, please continue to support me, Katayama, during this time!!