Translation by nagatsukinura119.tumblr.com
I was allowed to announce in today’s Sankei Sports (a Japanese language daily sports newspaper)
I, Kuramochi Asuka will graduate from AKB48.

About eight years after I have passed as a Kenkyuusei,
And I have been active as an AKB48 member since then.

Until the formation day when I became Team B’s Captain,
I had never experienced the position of a captain
and every day was learning anything fresh.

When I was allowed to tour with the team last year, we were able to feel the growth of a lot of younger members.
Not only performance looks better, or when during MC lessons…

At that time, my role felt like it was over.
It was weak until now, but it also brings the team together
Looking at everyone one by one, I feel like we managed to achieve that together.

I love this team so much that
I thought I want to graduate with this team.

And, it is [to tell] that I found through the activities of AKB48.

Now, we are allowed to challenge to work as a sportscaster
I realize the difficulty to tell the support for the players, and the player’ reply to the supporters in their own words, but it is here that I was able to notice the splendor of sports.

To convey the words about the beloved sports, it is one of the things that I want to also actively challenge now.

And also,
Through the powerful “dialogue”
Also you play because you want to energize other people, and want us to want to continue to challenge.
So now, I have decided to want to graduate and walk towards new goals and dreams.

These 8 years has given me so much.

To “encounter” many people,
By a lot of “experience”
I did not find “the me” on my own.
All that is my treasure.

Although I will no longer be known as AKB48’s Kuramochi Asuka,
I would be happy to be supported as the one and only Kuramochi Asuka.

The graduation performance will be held on August 17.
There will be about 1 month activities remaining,
To cherish every ‘firsts’.
By absorbing a lot, I want to grow!

For all these eight years, thank you so much.

To every fan that came to support us until now, we want to celebrate the graduation while thanking every one of the staff.

Kuramochi Asuka