Mayu Watanabe is the new leader of AKB48

And the new leader of Japanese all-girl pop group AKB48 is Mayu Watanabe.

The 20-year-old won the fan vote, garnering 159,854 votes. The results were announced announced Saturday night, where some 70,000 fans had gathered for a concert and to hear the much awaited announcement of the group's new leader for the next year.

There are some 300 girls in the pool of AKB48 act, all of whom vie for the top spot to lead the group in the upcoming year. 

The annual vote was overshadowed by last month's attack on two of its members, Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, during a fan meet meet in Iwate, northern Japan. The girls suffered broken bones and cuts on their arms and heads after a 24-year-old man attacked them with a 50cm saw.  

- AFP, JapanToday