The Feb. 1 article, “AKB48 idol begs for fans’ mercy after breaking dating ban” states that Minami Minegishi willingly shaved her head to beg forgiveness for breaking one of the group’s rules. AKB48 has a strict rule prohibiting relationships, but Minegishi was reported to have left an actor’s house.
She took the blame for what she had done and, as punishment, decided to shave her head without consulting anyone. A YouTube video showed her apology, but she was not kicked out of the group. She was just ranked lower as a student.
I honestly think it’s a bit unfair that she was not kicked out of the group. By joining AKB48, she knew she was not allowed to date or make such a commitment. Although I think the rule is pointless, if she broke it, I think she should be treated as the rest of the members should expect to be treated if they had broken the rule.
I don’t think that Minegishi should get special treatment now just because she has shaved her head. Even though she did express sorrow and guilt and punished herself, she still broke the rule.
In addition, I think that Minegishi’s shaving her head as self-punishment — as if to show that it’s a bad thing not to have hair — is offensive to people who cannot grow hair.
I think the organizers of AKB48 should take the rules and consequences more seriously. If they won’t carry out more serious consequences against someone who breaks the rules — such as kicking a member out of the group immediately — I think the group will eventually split up.
They should not forgive a member just because she has shaved her head, expressed feelings of guilt, and cried
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.