8th generation member Mitsui Aika has decided to graduate alongside current leader Niigaki Risa at Morning Musume's Budokan concert on May 18th. Though her foot injury sustained in May 2011 has mostly healed, there is the possibility of further damage if she continues her activities in the group as she used to. She will not leave Hello! Project altogether and Mitsui and the staff are currently considering other options for her there.
Up-Front Agency statement
Morning Musume 8th generation member Mitsui Aika will be graduating from the group at their "Morning Musume Concert Tour 2012 Spring ~Ultra Smart~ Niigaki Risa Graduation Special" concert on May 18th.
After experiencing pain in her foot on May 9th of last year, she underwent a medical examination at the hospital and received a diagnosis of "a stress fracture in the left anklebone." Due to her own strong feelings of wanting to continue as a member of Morning Musume, she concentrated on taking a rest from her activities and getting medical treatment until she was able to make a full recovery. However, after a medical examination on April 23rd of this year, the diagnosis was, "She's reached a near complete recovery, but if she were to repeat an intense performance like she's done in the past, there's a likelihood of her ending up in the same condition."
With that diagnosis, as a result of a thorough discussion between the company and Mitsui herself, she has made the difficult decision to graduate early. Mitsui stated, "I absolutely want to continue to be a part of Morning Musume, but if there's a possibility of my injury reoccurring, we have many intense dances that I feel would make my activity as a member of Morning Musume difficult, and if in the near future it became that my left foot couldn't completely heal, it would cause difficulty in my daily life from here on as well."
Having to resign in the middle of her time with Morning Musume has left Mitsui with a lack of closure, but while she is full of immensely regretful feelings, she will continue to seek medical treatment from this point forward and we are now consulting her to decide whether or not there is some work she can do within Hello! Project.
We apologize to her fans for this sudden announcement, and we truly hope for your understanding.
Thank you for always showing such support.
Today, we have a notice concerning Morning Musume 8th generation member Mitsui Aika.
After taking a leave from Morning Musume for several months due to her foot condition, and having recently gotten much better, Mitsui had restarted her activity on the tour and in other areas despite not being fully healed, but although it's a hurried and very unfortunate situation, it has been decided that she will be graduating from Morning Musume as of their "Morning Musume Concert Tour 2012 Spring ~Ultra Smart~ Niigaki Risa Graduation Special" live performance to be held at Nippon Budokan on May 18th.
The reason for this is because, while she was authorized as being "recovered enough that she will have no problems at all in her everyday life" during her recent examination, it was also written that "there is undeniable concern that the injury will reoccur if she continues to move as heavily as she did in the past," and Mitsui herself seems to have worried very much about her life beyond this point, but she requested, "Of course, to stay in the group in this incomplete way any longer would create worry and trouble for both all of our fans and the other members, so please allow me to graduate," and deciding that the thought she's put into her health issues and manner of living should be respected, I chose to accept her proposal.
Moreover, we considered what would be the right timing in her schedule and other plans, but thinking that, rather than a delay, a quick announcement and graduation would be less of a burden in many senses of the word as well as make for simpler departures in the future, we've decided the graduation will take place alongside Niigaki Risa's. Please understand.
In addition, following her graduation, I believe we will continue to evaluate
what she can do in Hello! Project with the guidance of her physician and Mitsui herself,
so we ask that you please look after Mitsui Aika with an even greater degree of support.
Mitsui Aika statement
Thank you for always supporting me.
It's sudden, but now, I, Mitsui Aika, will be graduating from Morning Musume.
Last May, I felt some discomfort in my foot and was diagnosed with an "abnormality of the bone," and I've tried many different medical treatments for it ever since then. In the middle of this, I also suspended my activity in Morning Musume completely and rested. Because of that, I've been able to participate as a member of Morning Musume to the extent of my capabilities, and I've felt blessed and fulfilled to do this work. During that time, when I went to my usual doctor on April 23rd for my follow-up diagnosis, I was given te happy news that I'd "recovered to the point of being almost unable to see any abnormalities in the bone" and that I'd have no problems in my everyday life. But, I also got the diagnosis, "I won't deny the possibility of your injury returning if you go back to your activity as it was before [intense motions and related issues]."
I always thought that I could return to my activities in Morning Musume 100% once I'd eventually recovered, but when I was told that my injury had a chance of reoccurring, I was very troubled. After talking it over with my mother and looking towards the life I have ahead of me, deciding to put my own health first, and furthermore, thinking that it'd be impossible for me to go on causing any more worry or trouble to all of our fans, staff, and the other members, it's a half-willed decision in some places, but I wished to graduate from Morning Musume as soon as possible.
Tsunku-san and everyone from the office was understanding, too, and after discussing the timing of my graduation with them, they decided, "Because it's also a matter of your health, we should do it as soon as possible," and it was settled that I would graduate on the last performance of Morning Musume's spring concert tour at Nippon Budokan on May 18th. It's really abrupt, and I'm very sorry to all of my fans and the other members, but I think you'll understand.
I feel very disappointed that I couldn't show the fans my dance performances in full, but I'll be giving it my all in our performances until our final Budokan live on May 18th, so until the tour final, please give me all of your support!
I'm discussing what kind of work I can do in Hello! Project with Tsunku-san and the staff, so I'm hoping to decide on something!
Source: Hello! Project official site.