After officially announcing her graduatio last April 4th and her participation in the ‘AKB48 27th Single General Election’, it has been confirmed that AKB48's ace member Atsuko Maeda will be graduating officially from the group after AKB48’s Tokyo Dome concert.
Here's a statement from Akimoto Yashushi's official Google+ page, translated by tokyohive:
I was able to hold a meeting with Atsuko Maeda the other day. I had passed her by in places like the studio, but did not have time to sit down and talk to her since that day in Saitama Super Area.The actual date of the Tokyo Dome Concert are yet to be revealed as of writing so we can't really say when's the exact date of Atsuko Maeda's graduation.
About AKB, her peers, her juniors, her fans, and about her own future…
Though she is not good with words, she shared her sincere thoughts with me.
I was touched to see that the shy 14 year old girl that always hid in a shell had matured into a 20 year old woman, who cared for others and shared those feelings with me.
Although she is still not good with words, because of that I felt I understood her raw and direct feelings.
And the shy expression she shows every now and again is the same “Acchan” I knew.
Anyhow, Atsuko Maeda will be graduating after the Tokyo Dome concert and the AKB theater performance on the following day.
Good luck, Atsuko Maeda!!