Morning Musume member Masaki Sato will not be participating in the group's year-end activities due to severe lower back pain.
On December 31, Morning Musume is scheduled to perform its annual countdown live. On January 2-4, the group will hold more concerts. Sato will not be present for any of these live events.
On January 4, Sato is scheduled to visit the doctor for a re-examination. The results of this visit will determine whether the idol will be resume her activities in time for Morning Musume's January 7 activity.
Sato has had a history of lower back pain. I n November 2015, she was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation, a condition where a nerve in the spine becomes pinched by the vertibra, resulting in varying degrees of pain.