AKS, the management company behind AKB48 and its sister groups, has terminated its contract with Etsuro Imamura, the former manager of NGT48, as well as announced the retirement of Takahiro Hosoi, the manager of AKB48.
The move is a result of a controversial tweet shared by former AKB48 manager Tomonobu Togasaki. On March 6, he shared a photo of himself drinking with Imamura and Hosoi.
In the tweet, Togasaki claimed to have heard a lot of things, and said people should not listen to media coverage. Although not explicitly state, it is believed this was in reference to the ongoing investigation into the Maho Yamaguchi assault case.
Reaction to the tweet was swift and severely negative, renewing pressure on AKS to take action against those involved in the incident.
AKS stated that the tweet and behavior of those involved was inappropriate, especially since the investigation is still underway. To demonstrate how serious it took the incident, it terminated its contract with Imamura, and accepted the resignation of Hosoi.
Imamura had previously been removed as manager of NGT48 due to his handling of the Maho Yamaguchi assault, but remained employed by AKS.
With Hosoi out, AKB48 currently does not have a manager. An interim manager has not been appointed, and the position will be left vacant for the time being.