Ever since Yamaguchi Maho came forward with her story of being assaulted by two men, fans have called for NGT48‘s theater manager/director Imamura Etsuro to resign for trying to cover up the attack by keeping her quiet.
Today NGT48 released a statement saying that Imamura would be ‘moved’, so basically he’ll be re-assigned, I guess.
NGT48 also released a statement from the new theater manager/director Hayakawa Maiko.
Other than the manager’s statement perhaps providing some hope going forward, the important thing to note is that NGT48 say that no members will face punishment because they now claim the members had nothing to do with the assault on Maho.
So they’re not only claiming that Maho’s story was inaccurate and/or she was lying, but that they themselves were inaccurate when they said a member at least gave out private information on Maho. Given how this has all unfolded, with only Maho’s story remaining consistent, it seems awful unlikely that version of events told by NGT48 management could be believed.
If you recall, NGT48 member Tano Ayaka is one of the members suspected of being involved, especially because she missed an event for the group along with Maho.
Well Ayaka went ahead and denied any involvement.
The problem is that fans had already found a bunch of coincidences aside from missing the group event.
Next up is Nishigata Marina clarifying her alleged involvement as well.
Nishigata Marina’s Tweet Part 2 pic.twitter.com/dCwxH3E7QT— さくぴよ♡sakupiyo #ThankYouMako (@39_saku_chan) January 12, 2019
Fans had connected her to the attack as well.
Additionally, there’s Nakai Rika, who also made a statement.
Not sure what fans believe about her involvement now, but it seems she lives elsewhere and the extent of the case against her is some bizarre tweets that people are interpreting as connected.
Perhaps most relevantly, there’s questions about whether the girls wrote any of these themselves or if they were just done by management as part of the narrative they’re now putting forth (which seems likely).
Anyway, as you can see, it’s a mess specifically because management’s story keeps changing and basically nobody believes them. Since they won’t punish the staff or members involved in the Maho assault, fans are left to just speculate and everything is sorta snowballing now.
Not sure where things go from here, honestly. But it sure as hell seems like a booting some staff and members for their involvement in this terrible incident would’ve netted much better results than whatever downplaying of this they’re attempting now.