On April 4th, AKB48’s Maeda Atsuko held a release event for her latest photo book, ‘Bukiyou, at Fukuya Bookstore in Shinjuku.

An hour and 15 minutes before this event, Maeda made a formal graduation announcement throughYouTube, and revealed that she would not be participating in the ‘AKB48 27th Single General Election‘.

This event marked Maeda’s first appearance in front of fans since the graduation announcement. In front of 2,300 people, she expressed what was currently on her mind.

Regarding her withdrawal from the election, Maeda commented, “This time, I want to be on the side that supports. I want to support the participating members by their side. I also want to be at the venue.

Maeda also sent a message to fans who were thinking about voting for her, “I’m sorry. I will continue my activities as AKB48 for now, so please support AKB48.

‘Bukiyou’ is Maeda’s 5th photo book, and it was shot in Paris over a one month period. It features photos of the idol enjoying her time in Paris with such activities  as riding the subway and walking alongside the Seine.

Maeda stated, “It’s filled with what I am right now, so I’m very satisfied. With this one book, I feel I was able to climb the stairs of adulthood.

Since this photo book is Maeda’s first since turning 20-years-old, the idol challenged herself to sexy shots. She revealed, “It wasn’t decided until we got there.“ When asked about her thoughts on the photo shoot, she responded, “It was a strange feeling…

‘Bukiyou’ was released on March 16th, and has already sold over 130,000 copies.