TOMOKA, a member of the girl group ZONE, is retiring from show business. Since September, she has been suffering from poor health, so she has decided to withdraw completely from the group and from the entertainment industry.
ZONE just reunited in August for the 10th anniversary of their song “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~,” and they later announced that they would extend their activities at least until the end of the year. However, with TOMOKA’s departure, the group will have to continue on with only two members, MIYU and MAIKO.
According to the announcement, TOMOKA said that pushing herself despite her health was causing concern and problems for the people around her, so she chose to retire. “I feel really glad that I was able to choose the path of music and continue with it until now,” she said in her comment to her fans. “Although the way to my dreams has changed, even now I want to walk forward while holding onto my dreams.”
Originally a four-member group, ZONE debuted in 2001 but disbanded in 2005. Former member MIZUHO was already retired from show business, so they reunited as a three-member group in August.