On December 2, it was revealed that Miyawaki Sakura and Yabuki Nako will be participating in HKT48’s 8th anniversary concert at the Tokyo Dome City Hall on December 15. A source stated, “Their participation was decided on suddenly. We hope they will be able to take on their last performance as HKT48.”
The two debuted as members of project girl group IZ*ONE following the conclusion of Mnet’s “Produce 48.” Following their debut, their agency Off The Record released a statement about the Japanese members on September 24. In the statement, they shared that Miyawaki Sakura, Yabuki Nako, and Honda Hitomi will be halting all their AKB48 Group activities to wholly focus on IZ*ONE activities until April 2021, when their IZ*ONE activities is scheduled to conclude.
The overlap in HKT48 and IZ*ONE activities has received some criticism from fans, as they saw it as IZ*ONE’s agency going back on their word. Fans released a joint statement, where they stated, “The IZ*ONE fan union cannot understand this announcement. This is our statement denouncing IZ*ONE’s agency Off The Record.”
The statement continued, “Their participation in the HKT48 concert completely contradicts the September 24 announcement guaranteeing IZ*ONE’s full-time activities. At the time, the agency’s announcement stated that the single album released on November 28 would be their last activities as AKB48 Group. With the information at hand, the concert is an AKB Group activity that is irrelevant to the promotions for the single.”
Fans added, “This act has betrayed the trust of all IZ*ONE fans, including WIZ*ONE (IZ*ONE fandom), and it is an act that is incompatible to the guarantee of IZ*ONE’s full-time activities. If they allow these kinds of plural promotions, then Off The Record is nullifying their own promise, and we will not be able to trust any of the guarantees for full-time IZ*ONE activities in the future.”
IZ*ONE’s agency has responded to opposition from some fans over Miyawaki Sakura and Yabuki Nako participating in HKT48’s upcoming concert on December 15.
On December 4, their agency Off The Record Entertainment commented through an official statement, “This concert is being held in celebration of HKT48’s 8th anniversary. Miyawaki Sakura and Yabuki Nako, who have become full-time IZ*ONE members, will be participating as IZ*ONE members to congratulate this.”
The statement continues, “This does not mean they are overlapping HKT48 activities, and the members’ participation in some stages was decided to congratulate HKT48’s 8th anniversary. As announced previously, the three members Miyawaki Sakura, Yabuki Nako, and Honda Hitomi will not participate in activities as AKB members during the full-time promotion period, and they will continue IZ*ONE group activities as members of IZ*ONE during the full-time promotion period.”
“We express apologies for causing concern to fans, and we ask for your understanding. In addition, we request generous support and love for IZ*ONE from fans,” the agency concludes.
source: soompi 1 2, newsen, naver, @soompi