A Japanese pop star has shaved her head and offered a filmed apology after breaking her management firm's rules by spending a night with her boyfriend.
A sobbing Minami Minegishi apologised to her fans and said she did not want to leave the band AKB48, in the video seen by millions on YouTube.
The production company behind AKB48 said Minegishi, 20, had failed to abide by its cardinal rule - no dating.
But fans have defended her, saying she is entitled to a normal life.
Head shaving is a traditional form of showing contrition in Japan.
Minami Minegishi is one of the original members of the hugely popular girl band, AKB48 In the video posted on AKB48's official website, she said she had made the decision to shave off her long hair to show contrition for her "thoughtless and immature" actions.
"I don't believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don't want to quit AKB48," she said.
At times sobbing and bowing her head during the nearly four-minute-long video, she also said: "If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band. Everything I did is entirely my fault. I am so sorry."
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