NIIGATA (TR) – The management agency of idol group NGT48 has announced that member Maho Yamaguchi, who has been the focus of a scandal that developed following an alleged assault of her by two fans last year, will return to the stage with the group this weekend.
On Wednesday, agency AKS said on its web site that Yamaguchi will perform as vice captain of NGT48’s Team G at the group’s theater in Niigata City on April 21, her first appearance with the group in about three months.
Yamaguchi last performed with the group in January. That same month, the idol revealed on Twitter that two men grabbed her by the face and shoved her down as tried to close the front door of her residence in Niigata City after she returned home alone from a show on December 8.
According to previous reports, Niigata Prefectural Police accused the men of assault after the incident. During questioning, the pair denied the charges, saying they merely wanted to speak with Yamaguchi. They were released on December 29.
AKS under fire
In one tweet from January, Yamaguchi said that that the perpetrators told her that it was at least one member of NGT48 who informed them of her schedule and where she lives.
AKS came under fire over its indifferent handling of the incident, refraining from commenting until Yamaguchi took to Twitter in January. The agency then announced that Maiko Hayakawa would replace Etsuro Imamura as the manager of the theater.
Last month, AKS revealed that the results of a third-party inquiry into the matter showed that some members indeed had relationships with fans but that the cause of the incident was “excessive” behavior by the two fans.
Upon the release of the results, Yamaguchi blasted the announcement, saying that AKS “was telling lies.” She also claimed that AKS had promised to dismiss any members who were proven to have ties with fans.
Yamaguchi also commented on Twitter about the the apology she gave on January 10 over “concern” caused by her tweeting about the incident. She wrote, “If I didn’t issue the apology, I was told other members would read a prepared statement on my behalf.”
Several days after the release of the results, Natsuko Yoshinari, representative director of AKS, and Hayakawa apologized to vice governor Hiroshi Mizoguchi at the government office. “Due to our initial handling of the incident, we lost the trust of the people of the prefecture,” Yoshinari said.