On March 9, AKB48 will release their yet to be titled 43rd single. Today, the group held this year’s edition of their annual event, AKB48 Kohaku Uta Gassen, at Tokyo Dome City Hall. A special announcement was made at this event in regards to their upcoming single. It was announced that former members Atsuko Maeda, Yuko Oshima, Mariko Shinoda, and Tomomi Itano will be returning to the group for the new single. Soon to graduate member Minami Takahashi will also be participating in this single, even though the group’s single which was released last week, “Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby”, was dubbed her graduation single.
This move comes after the announcement yesterday that “Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby” broke the group’s streak of singles that have sold at least 1 million copies in the first week. This streak began with “Everyday, Katyusha”, which was released in May 2011. “Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby” sold about 905,000 copies in its first week.