In a move that shocked fans, popular boy band Arashi said Jan. 27 that it will go on hiatus at the end of 2020.
“Around the middle of June 2017, I told other members that I wanted to end activities as Arashi for now and that I wanted to live freely,” Satoshi Ono, the leader of the five-member idol group, said in a hastily arranged news conference in Tokyo. “I’ve discussed this many times with other members and decided that the date will be the end of 2020,” Ono said.
“I wanted to get away from this world and experience a normal life,” he said. The news comes after another popular boy band group, SMAP, disbanded at the end of 2016. Both groups shot to fame as part of the stable of giant entertainment agency Johnny & Associates.
Asked repeatedly whether he plans to come back, Ono said he didn’t know.
Fans across Japan and Asia reacted quickly.
“It cannot be possible,” one fan tweeted. “Fans are crying,” said a Taiwan newspaper in its online edition.(Kyodo, The Japan Times)