AKB48's past controversies
AKB48 introduced new member Aimi Eguchi, a beauty who appeared in a TV commercial and on the cover of Japanese magazine Weekly Playboy.
But fans were disappointed that she was a computer-generated image made up of the facial features of the group's six prettiest members.
Veteran members Hirajima Natsumi and Yonezawa Rumi apologised to fans for breaking the group's no-dating rule and left AKB48 after photos of them with guys were leaked to the Internet.
A commercial showing the members exchanging sweets from mouth to mouth came under fire in Japan for encouraging homosexuality.
A man claiming to be Rino Sashihara's ex-boyfriend gave a topless photo of her to a Japanese magazine. She was demoted to regional sub-group HKT48.
After a tabloid reported that Minami Minegishi had spent a night at a man's house, she was demoted from official member to trainee.
She was shown shaving off her hair and sobbing in apology to her fans in a video.