Nogizaka46 members Watanabe Miria and Ito Junna have announced their graduation from the group.
Watanabe will be graduating after the release of their 27th single "Gomen ne Fingers crossed" (June 9). Her actual graduation date will be announced once it has been determined.
On her blog, Watanabe revealed that she had been thinking about graduating since about a year and a half ago. She explained, "I wanted to see more of the outside world. I also wanted to climb a mountain that's not so easy to climb. It's a very very positive decision!!"
Watanabe reflected, "Entering at 13 years old, my eight years in Nogizaka46 are precious treasures," and thanked the members and staff for their support.
Nogizaka46's Under Live on May 26 will be the last live for both Watanabe and Ito. Watanabe said enthusiastically, "I want to enjoy it with everything I have. I am a bit sad that there will be no audience. But that means many people will be able to watch it, right? If so, I will do my best with enthusiasm!"
Ito will also be graduating after the group's 27th single. "As the members around me graduated, I started to think about my own future. As I thought more and more about graduating, I felt that I should pursue another path than be in Nogizaka, so I decided to graduate," she said.
Ito continued, "Eight years. A lot of things have happened. I dedicated my youth to Nogizaka! I was able to continue until now because I love Nogizaka."
She plans to be active until the end of August. "About three months left. Please continue to support Nogizaka46's Ito Junna until the very end," she concluded.