In Brief

Paul McCartney cancels whole tour of Japan due to illness

Beatles star 'disappointed' to let down fans but doctors have ordered him to have 'complete rest'

Sir Paul McCartney has cancelled his entire tour of Japan after contracting a virus. The 71-year-old was due to perform three shows in Tokyo and one in Osaka during his Out There Japan Tour this week, but he became ill soon after arriving in the country last Thursday. Doctors have ordered him to have a "complete rest".

On Sunday, McCartney was apparently planning to perform despite his ill-health, but his team and doctors would not allow it. He is still scheduled to perform in Seoul, South Korea, on 28 May, followed by 19 performances in the United States.

The singer had been due to perform on Saturday and Sunday at Tokyo National Stadium and tomorrow at Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo, where the Beatles performed during their first tour of Japan in 1966. He was also scheduled to play at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka this Saturday.

But a statement from the organisers, Kyodo Tokyo, said he had not recovered and the cancellation of the whole tour was "unavoidable". McCartney has only ever had to reschedule a handful of shows in his entire career, according to the organisers, and is "upset about this situation" as he "hates to let people down".

McCartney has thanked his fans for their "kind messages of support". But he added: "Unfortunately my condition has not improved overnight. I was really hoping that I'd be feeling better today. I'm so disappointed and sorry to be letting my fans down."

A spokesperson for the singer said that "all possibilities to find a solution to reschedule these shows as soon as possible are being explored".

McCartney enjoys "cult-like popularity among Japanese fans", says the Daily Telegraph. Tickets for the shows, including seats that cost around £585, had sold out. Kyodo Tokyo said it would start issuing refunds on 22 May.

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