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A J-Pop Star Apologized for 'Causing Trouble' After Speaking Out on Her Alleged Assault
A member of a popular Japanese girl group apologized to fans on Thursday for speaking out about an assault
allegation, telling audience members during one of the groupfs performances that she was gtruly sorryh
for gcausing trouble.h
Maho Yamaguchi, a member of the idol act NGT48, alleged that two men tried to grab her face at the
entrance to her apartment on Dec. 8 in the city of Niigata. The pair, reportedly unemployed and in their
20s, were arrested and released without charge after telling police that they gjust wanted to talk to
Yamaguchi,h according to Japanfs national broadcaster NHK.
Yamaguchi made the allegation earlier this week during a live-stream that was abruptly cut short,
Billboard reports. She said later on Twitter that she stayed silent for a month, hoping her groupfs
management would do something about the incident. She also expressed concerns for her own safety and that
of her fellow members.
The 23-year-old pop star, nicknamed gMahohon,h has since received waves of online support. Using the
hashtag #JusticeforMahohon, fans have offered sympathy and expressed anger toward the handling of the
An online petition demanding the resignation of NGT48fs theater manager Etsuro Imamura and a public
apology from NGT48fs staff had received more than 25,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon local time.
Rino Sashihara, one of the most popular members of NGT48fs sister group HKT48, also tweeted out her
support. She said Yamaguchi shouldnft have to apologize, and that shefs worried Yamaguchi might be
AKS, the talent agency that manages NGT48, apologized Thursday in a statement posted to the groupfs
official website for the gconcerns and troubles caused,h acknowledging that the situation was not
managed as well as it should have been. It said that Imamuro had been assisting the police with the
investigation for the past month.
The company added that it has provided members with personal alarm devices and said it would patrol
neighborhoods where members live and provide counseling.
NGT48 and AKS have not responded to TIMEfs requests for comment through their websites.
NGT48, created in 2015 by the popular AKS production group, has more than 40 members. AKS also produces
Japanese pop act AKB48 and its affiliated groups in Japan and China such as SKE48 and SNH48.