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Yuki Kashiwagi, member of Japanese all-girl pop group AKB48, to take medical leave

Yuki Kashiwagi is seen at the Ehime Prefectural Government office on Jan. 23, 2017. (Mainichi/Akiho Narimatsu)

TOKYO -- Yuki Kashiwagi of Japan's popular female idol group AKB48 announced on June 8 that she will take a break from entertainment activities for treatment of a spinal cord condition.

    Kashiwagi, 29, will undergo surgery to recover from syringomyelia, or a spinal cord cyst. She was found to have the ailment during a checkup for a medical TV show aired in early June.

    According to her agency's website and other sources, Kashiwagi will continue work that has been judged as not physically taxing under her doctor's guidance until hospitalization. Stage performances in which she was to appear in mid-June will be canceled, and her solo concerts that were scheduled for early July and other events will be postponed.

    "I'll concentrate on my treatment first, then I want to come back better than ever," Kashiwagi tweeted. "I'll be very encouraged if you could send warm wishes to me from your heart, even if just a little."

    (Japanese original by Hisanori Yashiro, Cultural News Department)

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