10 Aug – Several key members of AKB48's Team K did not turn for the special performance on the birthday of their team captain, Sayaka Akimoto, suggesting that there is a rift among the members.
According to JPopAsia, it was revealed that Team K's Yuko Oshima and Yui Yokoyama were having their own private activities on the day that Sayaka turned 24, on 26 July.
Yuko was believed to be having a dinner date with her rumoured beau Eiji Wentz, according to the restaurant staff, although she later changed her story that Yuko was with two other female friends.
As for Yui, she posted a picture of her enjoying a stone spa with Team A's Shizuka Oya on her Google+ account, but the photo was taken down shortly afterwards.
Fans were quick to defend Oshima and Yokoyama's reason for being absent, saying that it was alright for them not to perform on their rarely given break.
Other members that were noticeably absent during the birthday performance were Tomomi Itano, Ayaka Umeda and Minami Minegeshi. The absentees were replaced by research students for the performance.