• Kyodo, Staff Report


Popular boy band Arashi is calling off a concert scheduled for this spring in Beijing due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, their agent has said.

“Members of Arashi had been looking forward to seeing local fans, but we reached this conclusion after making a difficult decision,” Johnny & Associates Inc. said in a statement posted Monday on its website.

The concert was to be held at China’s National Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest,” designed for use in the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, according to the statement.

The group, which is also popular in China, was chosen by the Japanese government to serve in 2020 as a goodwill ambassador to promote cultural and sports exchanges with China.

One of the many male idol groups promoted by the giant entertainment agency, Arashi’s five members — leader Satoshi Ono, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya and Jun Matsumoto — have been active both as a group and individually in music, movies, TV dramas, variety shows and commercials since making their debut in 1999.

The group announced in January last year that it would suspend its activities at the end of this year.

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