Jurina Matusi will not be participating in the release of AKB48's upcoming single "Sentimental Train", King Records has announced.
Matsui placed first in AKB48's World Senbatsu General Election and was slated to be the center for the group's upcoming single. However, due to poor health, the idol went on hiatus at the beginning of July.
"Sentimental Train" is scheduled to be released on September 19. In order to meet production deadlines, the group had to move forward without its center.
Winning AKB48's Senbatsu General Election and holding the center position has been a prestigious honor few idols have had the privilege of obtaining. This is the first time the center will not be involved in the single or its promotional activities.
King Records plans to re-record the song and re-shoot its music video to include the Matsui. People who purchase the single now without Matsui's contributions will be given a serial number that can be used in the future to obtain the re-recorded single and its music video.
Although King Records plans on eventually including Matsui in the single, the company warned that this may never actually occur. This marks the first time the company has indicated that Matsui's medical hiatus could potentially be permanent.