Chinami Tokunaga, 17, and Yurina Kumai, 16, of all-girl J-pop group Berryz Workshop, were missing at the group’s shows in Nagoya on Saturday and in Osaka on Sunday. The remaining five members put on a dazzling performance but some fans demanded to know where Tokunaga and Kumai were. Inquiries later revealed that the pair were at home and have caught the influenza A virus.
The latest two cases mean that the whole group have had the flu recently, after captain Saki Shimizu, 17, Momoko Tsugunaga, 17, Miyabi Natsuyaki, 17, Maasa Sudo, 17, and Risako Sugaya, 15, all came down with influenza last month.
According to their agency Hello! Project, Tokunaga complained of not feeling well last Wednesday, and was told the next day at a hospital in Kanagawa that she’d need five days rest. Kumai fell ill last Friday while she was in Nagoya for the weekend’s show, and was diagnosed with influenza the following day.
Tokunaga and Kumai are scheduled to return to the line-up for their show at the Shibuya CC Lemon Hall in Tokyo this Sunday. A staff member at Hello! Project denied that the girls got sick from in-group transmission, and said they were infected separately due to their many appearances in public.© Japan Today