Rina Kawaei completed her last outing as an AKB48 member at Saitama Super Arena on August 2, 2015.

Kawaei's 'graduation ceremony' was held at an encore, and her progress at the AKB group was shown on screen.

With plenty of tears, she read a letter that she's written to her fans.

Thank you for supporting someone like me for the past 5 years or so. I was never good at dancing, and I was just standing there in the middle. Even then, there were many fans who spoke to me with warmest of hearts.

I know I have left many people worried at last year's general election, but many fans have voted for me, which led me to be in a high rank. I have thought about what my next dream is, and it was acting. I've decided to do what I wanted to do. I think that by returning to the TV or stage one day as an actress would be a way to say thanks.

Quoted from Rina Kawaei's Speech

Many AKB48 members have posted some photos after the concert.

I was thinking about how I should write about last night, and fell asleep... Last night was the last stage I share with Kawaei. I've managed to take a photo with her and another memory made. Thank you for everyone who came.

Thank you for the 2-day event. I will update again. Ricchan [Kawaei's nickname], congratulations.

I'll go and see you on stage starting on September!! Ricchan, congratulations for the graduation. You were so beautiful and cute tonight! I actually wanted to know you even more.

The second day at Saitama Super Arina - and Ricchan's graduation concert. Her dress was beautiful. When I sang at Team 4, I was impressed that Ricchan and others have all grown up. Ricchan, become a really wonderful actress, ok?

The 'dumb 7s' group was a lot of fun.

Juri Takahashi, an AKB48 member who is a junior to Kawaei, have also read a letter she's written. Takahashi said Kawaei was warmhearted and a hard worker.

AKB48's next general director Yui Yokoyama on the other hand said she's so sad to see Kawaei go, but she has pledged that she would support her the best she could, even though Kawaei is no longer with the group.

Rina Kawaei became a particularly-popular member of the AKB48 group when she received the lowest grade in a mock school exam out of all the participating AKB48 members on a TV show called 'Mechamecha Iketeru'.

Since then, she has shown her acting ability - her recent performance in 'Gomenne Seishun' has been received quite highly.

However, there was a major incident in one of their 'hand shake events', where someone brought in a knife into the event venue, intentionally injuring Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama, which may have contributed to her plans to leave the group.

I think it won't be long before we see her on TV, the big screen, or the stage. Many graduating AKB48 members have found it difficult to keep their popularity once they left the group; it would be interesting to see how Kawaei will survive in a highly competitive entertainment industry in Japan.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.