A new SF4 related article has surfaced on 1up.com, and from the look of it it is basically what famitsu has mentioned earlier but translated to english for us Japanese illiterates :P
From the article: "From the moment we started working on new characters for the arcade game, we've worked on Street Fighter IV from the viewpoint of the gamers who've been patiently waiting for a new game in the series," producer Yoshinori Ono told Weekly Famitsu magazine this week. "Once the home port was confirmed, we looked around the debates on the community sites, which proved to use that Sakura was the one character with the most requests from gamers. We chose her in response to the demand from the Japanese market. "
Click here to read the full thing.