On April 4th at 3 P.M. JST, AKB48’s Maeda Atsuko (20) made a formal announcement regarding her graduation and her participation in the ‘AKB48 27th Single General Election’ (to be held on June 6th at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo) through AKB48’s official YouTube channel and her Google+ page.

In the wake of her graduation announcement, Maeda initially rejected all questions regarding the full details of her graduation as she hoped to convey her feelings in own words. Now, in this 7-minute statement video, she unveiled her feelings regarding her graduation and her activities as AKB48’s ace up until now. As she hopes to “take the next steps” in her life, ultimately, she stated, “At this point and time, a concrete date for my graduation has not yet been decided, and we are still discussing when is the best time to do so. However, I will be withdrawing from the general election. I’m sorry.” She concluded, “Although I only have a short time left as an AKB member, I hope you will support me even after my graduation. I would be happy if you can. Above all else, please support AKB48 with me.

On top of this official statement, Maeda will also appear in front of her fans for the first time since her graduation announcement on the same day at 5 P.M. JST at Fukuya Shoten in Shinjuku Subnardwhere she will hold a commemorative handshaking event for her recent photo album ‘Bukiyou’ as well.

More details will be revealed in the next coming days so until then, check out her video statement below: