Hey Say Jump’s Hikaru Yaotome on hiatus due to sudden deafness

Hey Say Jump’s Hikaru Yaotome. (Photo: Johnny's Net)
Hey Say Jump’s Hikaru Yaotome. (Photo: Johnny's Net)

J-pop idol group Hey Say Jump’s Hikaru Yaotome announced through a live radio programme on 29 January that he will be taking a break from his activities due to sudden deafness in his left ear. He will be focusing on recovery during this period.

“I was diagnosed with sudden deafness last December,” Yaotome revealed. He added that he had dizziness and tinnitus during a television programme recording.

The tinnitus did not go away and even affected his sleep. When he went to the hospital, he was told that he has sudden deafness in his left ear.

Yaotome also disclosed that when multiple people were talking, he had difficulty understanding who was saying what, which became an obstacle for him during variety shows and music events.

Although he had the option of working while being treated, he decided to suspend his activities to focus on recovery and prepare for future work.

“I’m sorry for causing feelings of loneliness and disappointment to my fans,” he said.

Yaotome called out to his radio listeners and fans, “I hope to see everyone again, so please give me some time now to heal completely. I’ll be happy if you can wait for my return.”

His talent agency Johnny & Associates and fellow members of Hey Say Jump also respected his decision and chose to prioritise his health.

Hey Say Jump is an eight-member J-pop boy band that debuted in 2007. They will be celebrating their 15th CD debut anniversary this November. Yaotome said in an announcement on the Johnny & Associates website that he is aiming to recover by then.