Tomomi Itano announces she is 'graduating' from AKB48
First generation member of all-girl group AKB48, Tomomi Itano, announced on Friday night that she plans to “graduate” from the group within the year.
Itano, 21, made the announcement at the premiere of the AKB48 documentary “Documentary of AKB48 No Flower Without Rain.” Appearing on stage with several other AKB48 members, Itano said: “I know this is a sudden announcement but I have decided to graduate from AKB48.”
She went on to say, “The exact timing hasn’t been decided yet, but an announcement will be made soon. I’d like to spend my remaining time with AKB48 having fun with my fellow first generation members.”
Nikkan Sports reported that Itano, who joined the group when it waa founded in 2005, had originally planned to wait until the group’s spring concert to announce her departure, but let it slip in an interview as part of the documentary in which she was asked when she plans to graduate.
Besides her AKB48 actvities, Itano was Japan’s TV commercial queen in 2012, appearing in ads for 21 different companies.