Atsuko Maeda, who was one of the most popular members of the all-girl pop group AKB48, has married actor Ryo Katsuji, entertainment sources said Tuesday.

Maeda, 27, who left the group in 2012 to pursue a career as an actress, and Katsuji, 31, submitted their marriage registration the previous day, according to the actor's management office.

The two said in a written statement, "We'll continue to support each other and do every work given to us with sincerity."

Maeda was among the original members of AKB48, created in 2005 and named after Tokyo's electronics and subculture district of Akihabara. She ranked first in 2009 and 2011 in the group's annual popularity contest held since 2009.

AKB48 has sister groups in other Asian cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Shanghai and Taipei.

Katsuji has starred in stage productions, movies and TV dramas such as the hit series "Amachan," which aired on NHK in 2013.

More on AKB group:

All-girl idol AKB48's popularity poll joined by Asian sister units

Japan's AKB48 idol group further expands to Vietnam