18-year-old Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku member Aika Hirota has announced that she will be withdrawing from the group.
In an announcement on the group's official website, officials described Hirota's decision as a "school transfer", referring to the group's name as a school and its members its students; however, it was clear that no actual transfer was taking place, but rather that Hirota is leaving the group.
On January 3, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku will be holding a concert at Nippon Budokan. This will be Hirota's final day with the group.
"The number 1 reason why I'm leaving the group is because of all things I'm missing out on compared to other 18-year-olds. There a lot of things I'd like to do. I've thought about it and decided that I didn't want to have any regrets about missing out on life," Hirota said in a blog post explaining her decision.
No decisions have been made regarding Hirota's future after leaving Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku; however, she has expressed a desire to continue performing and creating art. Until then, Hirota promised to continue giving her all to the group and her activities as an idol.