AKB48 member Oba Mina (19), who has been on suspension since September, will resume her activities in January of next year. Oba made a surprise appearance at the AKB48 handshake event at Makuhari Messe on Saturday, where her return was announced.
Oba was previously captain of AKB48’s Team 4. In August, fans discovered descriptions of having a boyfriend and drinking alcohol (as a minor) in her personal blog from her pre-AKB48 days, and the “scandal” quickly spread online. As a result, she stepped down as captain and went on self-suspension, which also meant withdrawing from AKB48’s 2nd Senbatsu Janken Taikai.
Oba tearfully apologized again during the event on Saturday, and she admitted that she even considered retiring from the group.
Shimada Haruka (18) is currently serving as the captain of Team 4. A source associated with the group says that it is not yet decided whether Oba will regain the position of captain.