• Kyodo


About 30,000 people from across Japan packed a baseball stadium in Niigata on Saturday for the annual counting of fan votes for the AKB48 family of all-female idol groups.

In the eighth event, widely known as the “AKB48 general election,” Rino Sashihara, 23, of Fukuoka-based HKT48 garnered the most votes for the second year in a row, followed by Mayu Watanabe, 22, of Tokyo’s AKB48 and Jurina Matsui, 19, of SKE48 in Nagoya. Sashihara also won the 2013 election.

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