This is Oshima’s first update in the new year. Along with her new year’s message to her fans, she also proceeded to apologize by saying, “I think I surprised everyone after suddenly announcing my graduation at the very end of the year 2013.”
The reason why she chose to announce her graduation at the Kouhaku and not the AKB Theater is: “The Kouhaku has always been a dream and an aspiration for me, even during the time when we were not yet called AKB48 but Akihabara 48. It is a very special and memorable place for me. And because I wanted to properly bid farewell to that special place from that special place, I decided to announce my graduation at the Kouhaku Uta Gassen“.
Oshima’s goal now is “to be an actress who could represent Japan”. “I don’t think I’ll be able to get any more chances to participate in the Kouhaku after I leave AKB”. “If I do get that chance, then that would be the time when I have properly accomplished my goals and dreams after graduating. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to join the show someday, as ‘Yuko Oshima, the actress’–as a judge…”. She also did not clarify when she will officially graduate and said, “It’s not clearly decided yet, but I will immediately announce it once it’s finalized”.
About the reason for her graduation: “I have strongly felt the urge to take on the next step. I’m not saying that there are no more possibilities with AKB, it’s that this is the last step that I could take as a member of AKB, and it is also my duty to make way for the members who will be taking over the next generation”. She also revealed that producer Yasushi Akimoto’s (55) words of advice helped push her towards making this decision, which was: “If it’s a choice between taking the easy way and the hard way, then take the hard way. Choose the path of thorns”.
“For everyone of us who has stayed as a group, going solo is the path of thorns. I now have the same resolve that the previous members have had.” “Even when the circumstances change, my beliefs and my feelings will never change as I proceed towards a new stage in my life.”