Former AKB48 star Atsuko Maeda marries actor Ryo Katsuji

Kyodo

Atsuko Maeda, 27, a pop cultural icon and original member of the all-girl group AKB48, has married actor Ryo Katsuji, 31, an official of his management company said on Tuesday.

“We will continue to support each other and sincerely engage in each and every project offered to us,” they wrote in a joint statement. The marriage was registered Monday.

Maeda, a native of Chiba Prefecture, was among several founding members of the group, named after Tokyo’s Akihabara district, in 2005.

She was elected as the group’s most popular member in an annual vote by fans in 2009 and 2011, but quit the group in 2012 to pursue a career as an actor.

Katsuji, a Tokyo native, has appeared in various TV dramas, movies and theater productions, including the hit series “Amachan,” which aired on public broadcaster NHK in 2013.