COVID-19 Pandemic and 48g

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COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on 48g. COVID-19 impacted the majority of the entertainment world, 48g included. Most of the groups had to close their theaters temporarily, pause the handshakes, and postpone releases and events. Some groups even underwent major changes to their line-up.

Effect on the Groups



On December 8, 2019, Minegishi Minami announced her graduation during AKB48's 14th anniversary. Her graduation concert was scheduled for April 2, 2020 at Yokohama Arena, but was postponed due to COVID-19. On March 29, 2021, the concert was announced for May 22th at PIA Arena MM.

Between February 22 and 28, 2020, AKB48 was scheduled to hold their New Unit Live Matsuri at Shibuya Stream Hall, in which eight concert units, tentatively named A ~ H, would make their debut. On February 26th, the concert for units F, G, and H, were postponed as a safety measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 26th, they were scheduled for November 28th and 29th at the AKB48 Theater.

On December 8, 2020, AKB48 announced their Tandoku Concert for January 22-24, 2021 at Tokyo Dome City Hall, to commemorate the group's 15th anniversary. On January 8, the event was cancelled entirely due to extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency; instead, the teams selected songs from their chosen era and performed from their homes as a revamped 2021 Request Hour. On March 29th, a new Tandoku Concert was scheduled for May 23rd at PIA Arena MM.

Between July 29 and Aug 3, 2021, 10 members of Team 8 and one member of Team B tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the Fresh Member Concert on August 7 and Eito Day (Team 8's Anniversary Concert) on August 8 were cancelled.


On June 13, 2020, a new batch of stages was launched entitled Social Distance Stages which are performed in the AKB48 Theater with no live audience. The first stage was NaaOn Social Distance Stage.

Between August 1 and 3, 2021, various members of Team 8 tested positive for COVID-19. Due to their kenninship in Team 4 and Team A especially, stages were momentarily suspended for these two teams.


Music producer EZAKI MASARU died on August 31, 2021 following a coronavirus infection, it was announced on his official homepage on Sept. 6. Ezaki was in his 50s, and had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.



On October 5, 2019, Takayanagi Akane announced her graduation from SKE48. Her graduation concert was scheduled for 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. On April 10th, 2021, her graduation concert was held with an audience less than 50% of the venue's capacity.

On December 15, 2019, Kataoka Narumi annouced her graduation from the group. Her graduation ceremony was scheduled for April 2, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. In November, the ceremony was announced for December 31st. This date was postponed again after SKE48 temporarily halted theater performances, following Fukushi Nao's positive COVID-19 case on December 27th. Her graduation ceremony was held on January 20, 2021.

On February 7, 2020, Matsui Jurina announced her graduation from the group. Her graduation concert was scheduled for September 26th and 27th at the Nippon Gaishi Hall and her farewell stage for October 5th at SKE48 Theater, which were eventually postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. On April 11th, 2021, her graduation concert was held with an audience less than 50% of the venue's capacity.

SKE48 cancelled their appearance at JAM EXPO 2020-2021 in Yokohama Arena, following several confirmed cases among members. They were scheduled to appear on August 27, 2021.


All theater performances between August 27 and September 5, 2021 were cancelled following several confirmed cases among SKE48 members.


Formation Changes

Between January 20 and 22, 2021, Team N, Team M and Team BII would all be disbanded.


On March 29, 2020, NMB48 announced their twenty-third single, Datte Datte Datte, for release on May 13th. Although the senbatsu, covers, tracklists, and music video were published in the following weeks, the single was postponed on April 18th due to COVID-19 restrictions; only the title track was released digitally on the original date. On July 8th, the new release date was revealed to be August 19th.


On March 2, 2021, Shiroma Miru announced her graduation during the final concert of NAMBATTLE ~Tatakawana NMB Chauyarou!~. Her graduation concert was scheduled for May 29th and 30th at Osaka-Jo Hall, but was postponed due to COVID-19 state of emergency extension. On June 16th, the new scheduled date was announced for August 15th.



HKT48 cancelled their appearance at JAM EXPO 2020-2021 in Yokohama Arena, following several confirmed cases among members. They were scheduled to appear on August 27, 2021.


On December 31, 2020, HKT48 announced their fourteenth single for release on March 10, 2021, to be performed by two Senbatsu. Two weeks later, the single was postponed due to the COVID-19 state of emergency extension. On March 13th, the single's Senbatsu was announced. On April 14th, the title was revealed to be "Kimi to Doko ka e Ikitai," along with a new release date of May 12th.


On August, 2020, Seiji Reina and one NGT48's staff member gave a positive result of the COVID-19 antibody test, therefore, PCR was announced for all members and staff members, with a total of 69 negative results, including Seiji Reina who previously had a positive antibody test result.



On March 28, 2020, STU48 announced their fifth single for release on May 27th, to be performed by two Senbatsu: promoted members consisting of 1st Generation and 3rd Draft, and Kenkyuusei members consisting of 2nd Generation. Two weeks later, the single was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. On July 2nd, the title was revealed to be "Omoidaseru Koi wo Shiyou," along with a new release date of September 2nd.


STU48 management announced the group would terminate theater shows on their ship theater. Due to COVID-19 breakout, the theater was closed from February 2020 to June 2020. In the future STU48 will perform their shows on other ships and/or at ports.


Formation Changes

On February 2, 2021, management announced that due to the impacts of COVID-19, Team J, Team KIII, Team T, and JKT48 Academy would all be disbanded. Only 33 members would remain in the group, and the ones who remained would no longer be split into teams, simply belonging to JKT48. Members who were removed from the group would be given special permissions in the future to bypass the audition period, should they ever wish to audition again.



BNK48 9th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo's results were originally supposed to be released on March 22, 2020; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and revealed online instead of having audiences on April 19, 2020.

On December 26, 2020 the BNK48 Sport Day 2020 was originally determined to this date, but was postponed to April 10, 2021, due to COVID-19.



The MNL48 3rd General Election's results were supposed to be originally released on April 25, 2020; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and was later revealed online on February 6, 2021.

Many planned events in 2020 were also cancelled due to the pandemic.

Formation Changes

On February 13, 2021 that only the Top 1 to 36 ranking members will be chosen as the official members of MNL48 and the Top 37 to 48 will be the group's trainees.

AKB48 Team SH


On 2020, AKB48 Team SH's 1st Stage shonichi was delayed once from February 15 to June 7 due to COVID-19 outbreak in China.


On October 9, 2020, their producer announced indefinite suspension of the group's activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



On January 6th 2020, Shiraishi Mai announced her graduation from the group. Her graduation concert was scheduled for May 5th-7th at Tokyo Dome, but was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. On October 28th, her graduation concert was held virtually, with an estimated viewership of 680,000.

On February 23rd 2021, the Nogizaka46 9th YEAR BIRTHDAY LIVE was held, although originally scheduled to have a live audience in attendance, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was later changed to an online concert. Later in March and May, each generation had their own BIRTHDAY LIVE online concert, with the 2nd Generation Live being Hori Miona's graduation concert. In late May, the group held the Nogizaka46 Under Live 2021 online as well, being the last live for Ito Junna and Watanabe Miria.

On June 22nd and 23rd 2021, the group resumed in-person concerts with Sa~ Yu~ Ready? Sayuringo Gundan Live/Matsumura Sayuri Graduation Concert. The live was also streamed online.

From July to August 2021, the group went on their yearly summer tour, Nogizaka46 Summer National Tour 2021. Both dates in Fukuoka (August 21 & 22) were streamed online as it was the 10th Anniversary of the group's formation and Ozono Momoko's graduation concert, respectively. However, their final tour dates at Tokyo Dome (September 8 & 9) were postponed due to increased COVID-19 cases. This was to be Takayama Kazumi's graduation concert, so her graduation was postponed indefinitely.

Sakurazaka46 / Keyakizaka46


The group's documentary, Bokutachi no Uso to Shinjitsu: Documentary of Keyakizaka46 was originally scheduled to release on April 3, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the release date was postponed until September 6, 2020. The documentary was later released on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 3, 2021.


On April 15th and 15th, the planned "Keyakizaka46 4th YEAR ANNIVERSARY LIVE" was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Later on May 29th, the planned Keyaki Republic concert for 2020 was also cancelled. However, on July 16th the group held their first online concert with KEYAKIZAKA46 Live Online, but with YOU! where the group announced that they would be rebranding from Keyakizaka46. The estimated total number of viewers reached 300,000. On September 27th, the group held a second online live, KEYAKIZAKA46 Live Online, AEON CARD with YOU!.

On October 12th and 13th, the group held their final live as Keyakizaka46, Keyakizaka46 THE LAST LIVE, as an online broadcast. In the finale of the second day, they premiered their first song as Sakurazaka46, Nobody's fault. The estimated total number of viewers for both days was 570,000.

On December 8th, Sakurazaka46 held their first live with their new name: Sakurazaka46 Debut Countdown Live!! The live had no in-person audience, and was instead broadcast live in theaters across Japan. Following the release of their 1st and 2nd Singles, the group held mini online lives where they performed each song on the respective single.

In June, Sakurazaka46 resumed in-person concerts with BACKS LIVE!! and later with W-KEYAKI FES. 2021. However due to the pandemic, the group continues to have online viewing capabilities for these concerts. The in-person concerts also require the audience members to wear a mask at all times and prohibit shouting and fan-calls.

Additionally, Sakurazaka46 has not had any in-person handshake events for their 1st to 3rd Singles. Instead, the group has opted for online "Meet & Greets (ミート&グリート)" through Fortune Music's "fortune meets" app.



On March, 2020, Hinatazaka46 National Spring Arena Tour 2020 was to be Hinatazaka46's first Arena Tour that was postponed and ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the tour came to fruition with the online concert, HINATAZAKA46 Live Online, YES! with YOU! ~"22nin" no Ongakutai to Fuugawarina~.

On December 24, 2020, Hinakuri 2020 ~Obake Hotel to 22nin no Santa Claus~ concert was initially planned to be held in Tokyo Dome but was held online due to COVID-19.



On August 2, 2021 the management officially announces that the SNH48 8th Senbatsu Election on August 7th will be held online only without an audience due to COVID-19 Delta variant surges in China. They will work with its ticketing partners to issue full refunds to fans who had already purchased offline concert tickets. August 8th and 9th handshake event is being rescheduled to September 11th and 12th.


Formation Changes

As an expansion on the system that all SNH48 sister groups have used for online shows during the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to discover the various sparks of co-operation among the members, provide fans with a better watching experience, while maintaining the development vitality of GNZ48, GNZ48 implemented the new Class 4 and Class 8 "teams" while retaining the 3 existing teams. In the future, the members will perform either in teams or classes.


All team performances were suspended until June 2021, instead the Class 4 and Class 8 stages were kept. After this, the Team NIII 3rd Stage new shonichi includes some songs with an updated version, known as "Fiona N. (RESTART)"

On August, 2021 some performances were again canceled due to the increase in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in China.


Formation Changes

On September 4, 2020, the BEJ48's management announced that due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the months-long closure of their theater, Team B, Team E, Team J and Trainee would all be disbanded. Most members from these teams were transferred to SNH48, and the ones who remained would no longer be split into teams, simply belonging to BEJ48.


BEJ48 Theater was officially closed on September 4, 2020, after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From now on they will make their performances in non-permanent theaters.

On August, 2021 all stages performances were canceled due to the increase in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant.



In August, 2021 all stages performances were canceled due to the increase in cases of the Delta variant in China.


Some groups released dedicated songs to support all the victims and the volunteers on the frontline of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

COVID-19 Cases

List of members who had a positive case of COVID-19.

  • Members are listed by the time of their infection, or official announcement of positive test results.
  • = Graduated at the moment of test result.
Group Member Date
Yoshimotozaka46 Obara Yoshio 2020.07.06
Yoshimotozaka46 Machaaki 2020.07.07
Yoshimotozaka46 Sakakibara Tetsuji 2020.07.12
AKB48 Oya Shizuka 2020.07.13
AKB48 Takita Kayoko 2020.07.19
AKB48 Iwata Karen 2020.07.27
Keyakizaka46 Imaizumi Yui 2020.08.12
Nogizaka46 Sato Kaede 2020.08.27
Nogizaka46 Yoda Yuki 2020.08.27
HKT48 Murashige Anna 2020.09.22
JKT48 Flora Shafiq 2020.09.24
JKT48 Febriola Sinambela 2020.10.02
AKB48 Nishino Miki 2020.10.12
JKT48 Viona Fadrin 2020.10.24
NMB48 Shiroma Miru 2020.11.30
Yoshimotozaka46 A-NON 2020.12.03
Yoshimotozaka46 Fujii Nao 2020.12.03
Yoshimotozaka46 Fujimori Renge 2020.12.03
Yoshimotozaka46 Ogawa Haruna 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Kikuchi Kosuke 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Kihara Miyu 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Satake Masafumi 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Takano Yui 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Tada Tomohiro 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Hara Kodai 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 HIDEBOH 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Matsuura Shiho 2020.12.04
Yoshimotozaka46 Maruirui 2020.12.04
NMB48 Kato Yuuka 2020.12.04
AKB48 Hama Sayuna 2020.12.26
SKE48 Fukushi Nao 2020.12.27
JKT48 Stella Cornelia 2020.12.30
Nogizaka46 Saito Yuri 2021.01.08
Nogizaka46 Yoshida Ayano Christie 2021.01.09
JKT48 Adhisty Zara 2021.01.15
AKB48 Nishikawa Rei 2021.01.26
JKT48 Desy 2021.04.30
JKT48 Nurhayati 2021.06.13
JKT48 Angelina Christy 2021.06.15
AKB48 Mukaichi Mion 2021.06.19
JKT48 Beby Chaesara 2021.07.05
JKT48 Dhea Angelia 2021.07.09
JKT48 Helisma Putri 2021.07.12
Nogizaka46 Saito Chiharu 2021.07.21
AKB48 Gyoten Yurina 2021.07.28
AKB48 Uemi Sorano 2021.08.01
AKB48 Omori Maho 2021.08.01
AKB48 Kuranoo Narumi 2021.08.01
AKB48 Nagano Serika 2021.08.01
AKB48 Suzuki Yuka 2021.08.01
AKB48 Sakaguchi Nagisa 2021.08.01
AKB48 Tokunaga Remi 2021.08.01
SKE48 Sugiyama Aika 2021.08.02
SKE48 Ota Ayaka 2021.08.02
SKE48 Matsui Rena 2021.08.02
JKT48 Eve Antoinette Ichwan 2021.08.02
JKT48 Ariella Calista Ichwan 2021.08.02
AKB48 Utada Hatsuka 2021.08.03
AKB48 Sakagawa Hiyuka 2021.08.03
HKT48 Murakawa Bibian 2021.08.05
AKB48 Fukutome Mitsuho 2021.08.05
SKE48 Mizuno Airi 2021.08.08
HKT48 Oda Ayaka 2021.08.09
HKT48 Kurihara Sae 2021.08.09
HKT48 Sakamoto Erena 2021.08.09
HKT48 Miyazaki Sono 2021.08.09
HKT48 Kuriyama Rina 2021.08.09
AKB48 Hashimoto Haruna 2021.08.09
HKT48 Imamura Maria 2021.08.12
HKT48 Mizukami Rimika 2021.08.12
HKT48 Yamauchi Yuna 2021.08.12
AKB48 Saito Haruna 2021.08.12
NMB48 Murase Sae 2021.08.13
AKB48 Suzuki Kurumi 2021.08.13
AKB48 Muto Orin 2021.08.13
Nogizaka46 Ito Marika 2021.08.13
AKB48 Shimoguchi Hinana 2021.08.15
AKB48 Taguchi Manaka 2021.08.15
AKB48 Yasuda Kana 2021.08.15
AKB48 Yamabe Ayu 2021.08.15
AKB48 Ichikawa Manami 2021.08.16
AKB48 Kobayashi Ran 2021.08.17
NGT48 Nishimura Nanako 2021.08.20
NGT48 Ando Chikana 2021.08.20
AKB48 Cho Kurena 2021.08.22
Nogizaka46 Fukagawa Mai 2021.08.23
SKE48 Furuhata Nao 2021.08.24
AKB48 Tatsuya Makiho 2021.08.24
SKE48 Arai Yuki 2021.08.27
SKE48 Ego Yuna 2021.08.27
SKE48 Okamoto Ayaka 2021.08.27
SKE48 Hidaka Yuzuki 2021.08.27
SKE48 Hayashi Mirei 2021.08.27
STU48 Taniguchi Mahina 2021.08.28
SKE48 Aoki Shiori 2021.08.29
SKE48 Iriuchijima Sayaka 2021.08.29
SKE48 Fujimoto Fuyuka 2021.08.29
SKE48 Ito Miki 2021.08.29
AKB48 Aigasa Moe 2021.08.29
SKE48 Asai Yuka 2021.08.31
SKE48 Kamata Natsuki 2021.08.31
SKE48 Nishii Mio 2021.08.31
SKE48 Kawashima Miharu 2021.09.02
AKB48 Shimizu Maria 2021.09.03
MNL48 Alyssa Nicole Garcia 2021.09.08


  • On December 4, 2020, it was found that 12 Yoshimotozaka46 members were infected with COVID-19 at the performance held at the Yoshimoto Yurakucho Theater on November 27.
  • The month of August 2021 saw the largest number of confirmed cases to date. A total of 57 cases were confirmed throughout multiple clusters.
    • Between July 28 and August 3, 2021, the AKB48 management announced that 10 Team 8 members had all been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • From August 9 to 12, several members of HKT48 tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Between August 9 and 17, 2021, several members of AKB48 tested positive.
    • From August 24 to September 2, 14 members of SKE48 are infected with COVID-19.

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