On February 8, AKB48 Team 8 member Sato Akari announced her graduation via Twitter.
Sato uploaded a video saying, "I, Sato Akari, will graduate from AKB48. I thought about it many times in my own way, and wanted to utilize the things I've learned so far in a new environment other than the idol industry."
She continued, "I felt it was really painful to make this announcement during this situation, but I will do my best to express my gratitude to everyone who have supported me during the remainder of my activities. Please continue to cheer me on until the end."