AKB48 resumed performances at the AKB48 Theater in Tokyo's Akihabara area on Monday night, a week after two members were attacked at a fan handshake event in Iwate Prefecture.
The group's management had closed the theater and canceled all meet-and-greet events after group members Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, were injured in the attack.
Prior to the performance, fans had to pass through metal detectors. As a further safety precaution, the front row of seats was left vacant, TV Asahi reported.
Monday night's performance in the theater atop the AKB48 Cafe & Shop Akihabara, located in front of JR Akihabara station, began at 6:30 p.m. and finished just before 9 p.m. Fans were seen lined up in front of the store hours before the theater doors opened.
A poster advertising candidates in an upcoming election in which new members for the group will be chosen was put up in front of the store, prompting a non-stop flow of fans into the shop all day.
One fan in his 30s spoke with reporters enthusiastically about his excitement regarding the reopening of the theater, "As a truly big fan, I am so happy. I really hope they will continue to perform long into the future," he said. "The safety of the band members is the most important thing. I think the fans will unite and keep an eye out in the future to help prevent any further attacks."© Japan Today