The first single of the year, named "Sakura no Ki ni Narō", was released on February 16. Upon the first day of release, AKB48 sold 655,000 copies of their single, beating their previous top record (568,000 copies of "Beginner"). The single sold 826,989 copies in its first week, AKB48′s highest record.
In February, graduation of Yūki Kanazawa and Manami Oku was announced.
Their second studio album, namely "Koko ni Ita Koto (ここにいたこと)", will be released in 6 April. On March 12, 2011, it was announced on their blog they have closed the AKB Theater due to the earthquake, and also canceled all public events including theater events until further notice.
On March 14, it was announced on their official blog that 1) their concert "Takamina ni tsuite ikimasu (たかみなについて行きます, lit. "(We) will follow Takamina")", scheduled to be held on March 25–27 at Yokohama Arena, will be cancelled, 2) opened bank accounts at Resona Bank and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to raise donations for 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami relief, as a part of their project named "Dareka no tameni" (誰かのために, lit. "on someone’s behalf").
On March 15, it was announced to donate 500 million yen on those bank accounts as AKB48 groups, including SKE48, SDN48, NMB48, and Yasushi Akimoto. On the same day on their official blog, as well as postponement of the release of new album, "Koko ni Ita Koto (ここにいたこと)".
On March 26, they used Yokohama Arena, which would have been used for 3-day concert, for their 2-day charity events under "Dareka no tameni" project, although 12 main members are attending Okinawa International Movie Festival on a same day for the same purpose. The album,"Koko ni Ita Koto (ここにいたこと)", was originally scheduled to be released on April 6, but it was postponed until June 8 due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
On April 1, they released a single "Dareka no Tame ni -What can I do for someone?- (誰かのために -What can I do for someone?-)", which was originally recorded on a live album released in 2007, through Recochoku website as download-only, and will donate all profit for 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami relief.
On April 8, Manami Oku graduated after performing at Team B stage on the same day.