Popular Japanese boy group Arashi shocked the industry when they announced that they would be suspending their group activities at the end of 2020.
They made the announcement through their fan club's platform in Johnny's Entertainment's official website, Johnny's Net.
Nikkan Sports reported that leader Ohno had said, "After much deliberation, we decided to suspend our activities as Arashi from December 31, 2020. I'm sure all of you are shocked by this sudden announcement, but we wanted to convey our decision to our fans who have been supporting us first more than anyone else."
The quintet, comprising Sho Sakurai, Satoshi Ohno, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya and Jun Matsumoto, debuted in 1999 and enjoys massive popularity in Japan, with some dubbing them as SMAP's successor.
The group is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and will be performing at various Dome concert halls as part of their tour.
News of their suspension comes slightly more than two years after labelmate SMAP disbanded, and only a few months after Tackey & Tsubasa announced their breakup and performed for the last time at the year-end countdown concert, Johnny's Starship Countdown.
Apart from performing at concerts and releasing albums, the Arashi members are known to be talented actors and variety show hosts. Up until recently, they also hosted NHK's Kouhaku Uta Gassen, one of the biggest year-end shows in Japan.
This article was first published in CLEO Singapore