As has been expected, AKB48 member Kato Rena to graduate from the group.
This was announced through her emergency SHOWROOM Live Stream tonight at the AKB theater right after the performance.
Kato Rena joined AKB48 as a 10th generation member and debuted back in March 2010.
She invented Renacchi Sousenkyo, annual election for oshimen ranking held by herself consisting members who applied.
Renacchi said she would like to pursue a career in hair, makeup and beauty.
• Kato Rena's full statement by renveiro39 •
"I, Kato Rena, will graduate from AKB48. And from now on, I would like to pursue a career in hair, makeup and beauty. It's been 12 years since my father applied for my audition and it got me in the group, I've always been following AKB48's path, and now for the first time, I made my own decisions about my life.
When I joined AKB48, they were already popular and I was blessed with a good environment. As an elementary school student with no social experience, I didnt think about it objectively, instead I did my best to keep up with the flow of events in front of me.
I was a nobody, and as I stood on the stage as a member of AKB48, I realized much later that I was not up to the task. I only knew how to do what I was told, and to do my best in that. I thought it was the right thing to do, and I didn't know what to do with myself either.
I've always been living my life in frustration and acceptance, for not being able to be anything. Now it is not about what I am going to be, but whether I could make up my mind, that is the first step. I would like to thank my fans for their support, but at the same time, I feel sorry for them.
However, I have been able to do this for 12 years because of the their support. It taught me the importance of having the support and encouragement of others. This experience has also become a guide for me in the future. I believe that these 12 years of activities have been a very, very meaningful and important process for me.
I love makeup so much. It makes me feel more confident, grves me a new sense of self, and makes me feel closer to the person I want to be. Even now, during the pandemic, not every day in life is positive and fun to live.
But if I can be a little more confident and positive about myself, I might be able to reconsider what I've given up, even if it's just a little bit. Just as I have been supported by my fans, I want to help others with my makeup, even if only a little.
That is my decision based on the experience I have gained over the past 12 years. I also started attending a beauty school, although it was a remote course. I want to become a licensed beautician, study properly, and get involved in the beauty industry in a way that is not technically embarrassing.
I'm sad that I won't have the opportunity to interact with all the fans who have supported me, so I definitely try to leave something for them later in the future. Please continue to support this Kato Rena. And last but not least, I would like to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here.
I'm very happy that my decision was heard here. I feel like I was further encouraged to keep trying and not give up. I'm still very new at this, so I look forward to your support in the future. And that was it, my announcement."