And then, there were 3. Junnosuke Taguchi is leaving KAT-TUN and Johnny’s Entertainment in spring 2016.

The surprise announcement was made on November 26 before their performance of “Dead or Alive” on NTV’s special year-end music program “Best Artist 2015.”

The three remaining members wore a solemn expression, while shocked screams could be heard in the broadcast as Junno explained he was leaving due to personal reasons.

“Next spring I'll retire from KAT-TUN and Johnny & Associates. I'm almost 30 and I thought about how I should live my life. I'm truly sorry to the members," Taguchi said.

Kamenashi Kazuya then apologized to Nippon TV, the performers, and audience for any burden the sad news would cause.

Originally a six-member unit, this would be the third member leaving the group. Quite a blow, considering the group’s 10th anniversary would be next year. Back in 2010, Jin Akanishi left to pursue a solo career. In 2013, Koki Tanaka was kicked out for violating his contract.

Johnny & Associates has confirmed the group will not be disbanding.

Below are statements from the members posted on the KAT-TUN fanclub. (cr: dokkero)

From Junnosuke Taguchi:

From Kamenashi Kazuya:

From Ueda Tatsuya:

From Nakamaru Yuichi:

Here is a video clip of the announcement:

How do you feel about Junno’s departure? 


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Additional source:

JPOP Asia