Tears of joy filled Fukuoka on Saturday as Rino Sashihara won pop group AKB48’s 41st Single Election, but that didn’t stop jeers from flooding online chat forums.
Sashihara, who is a member of sister group HKT48, reclaimed the top spot at the senbatsu sōsenkyo (general election) after having previously won it in 2013. Last year’s winner, Mayu Watanabe, took third place and Yuki Kashiwagi took second. Fan-favorite Minami Takahashi, who will be graduating from the group at the end of the year, placed fourth. The results were announced live at Fukuoka’s Yafuoku! Dome.
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