On February 19th, it was announced that AKB48’s Shinoda Mariko has resigned as mayor of Fukuoka City’s virtual administrative ward, ‘Kawaii Ward’.
Since last year, the city received four complaints, citing reasons such as “Encouraging cute women hinders women’s self-independence,” and “It encourages gender discrimination.” As such, Shinoda was asked to step down as ward mayor. The city explained, “We can’t cause trouble to Shinoda-san, who has no direct relationship with the argument.”
Shinoda had been serving as the ward mayor since late-August without compensation. She was in charge of promoting the city by informing registrants of events.