Meaty updates on the Yamaguchi Maho situation with NGT48 have been few and far between of late, likely by design as AKS is seemingly trying to weather the storm before they can bury this and continue on like business as usual.
Doesn’t mean there aren’t any updates, however, as the investigation into the incident seems to slowly but surely be forming.
AKS Executive Matsumura Takumi told Niigata Nippo on 1/22 that the third party investigation team will have 5-6 lawyers, compliance officers and mental health counselors.— ま。あと9日 (@qc_bb) January 30, 2019
He also said results will likely not be available by the end of February. #NGT48#JusticeForMahohon pic.twitter.com/1lUQgCrfsH
#NGT48 announced a third party investigation team today comprised of lawyer from 3 firms:— ま。あと9日 (@qc_bb) February 1, 2019
Iwasaki Law – Consultant for Ariola Japan, NGT’s record company
Akasaka Mori no Ki Law – Head attorney was former consultant for Dentsu, AKS’s partner
Shinwa Law – AKS legal consultant pic.twitter.com/uOJKSe81HG
Anybody can see that doesn’t look like the most independent investigation team, but AKS claims otherwise.
Excerpt from Guideline:— ま。あと9日 (@qc_bb) February 1, 2019
4. Disposal of Records
Thr Third Party Panel has exclusive rights to dispose of all records collected during investigation.
5. Conflict of Interest
Parties having interest in investigated corporation may not be on the panel. (*Includes consultants) pic.twitter.com/GUOWutoUoK
I dunno how AKS expects this to look, but I’m not sure this is filling people with confidence at the moment.
As for the victim herself, Maho’s status in NGT48 is up in the air.
Though it does seem she’s communicating with fans through her Likes on Twitter.
Yamaguchi Maho’s Twitter account liked 4 more tweets on Feb. 3, right before “NGT48” disappeared from her profile.— ま。あと9日 (@qc_bb) February 3, 2019
The 4 tweets are messages criticizing the management and/or calling for disbandment.
As of 1/30, she had 266 Likes:https://t.co/hQdg9v7MoI#JusticeForMahohon
Yamaguchi Maho liked the following tweet at 12:20am JST on Feb. 4.— ま。あと9日 (@qc_bb) February 3, 2019
“If you worry about Mahohon, you should follow her allies in the group.
Murakumo Fuuka”#NGT48 #JusticeForMahohon pic.twitter.com/VTTeiDBVbS
We’ll see if anything further comes of this.
All this said, the unfortunate reality is that AKS’s plan to move on from this will likely work. Outlets may have covered the initial surge as the headline for this issue can be justifiably bombastic and it’ll get clicks, but the follow-ups are less explosive and less interesting and updates will likely wane. Regardless, I’ll try my best to provide some updates as this was definitely one of the more fucked up entertainment stories involving idols I’ve covered so far.