Japanese boy band Arashi has canceled a concert scheduled in Beijing in the spring due to the outbreak of a new coronavirus, their agent said Monday.

"Arashi's members were very much looking forward to meeting all the local fans," Johnny & Associates Inc. said, describing the decision as "distressing" in a statement posted on its website.

It said the concert was to be held at China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest," designed for use in the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

The group -- also popular in China -- was chosen by the Japanese government to serve in 2020 as a goodwill ambassador to promote cultural and sports exchanges with China.

The agency said the members will continue their ambassador role to deepen relations between the two countries.

One of the many male idol groups promoted by the giant entertainment agency, Arashi members have been active as a group and individually, not only in music but in movies, TV dramas, variety shows and commercials since making their debut in 1999.

Composed of five members, leader Satoshi Ono, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya and Jun Matsumoto, the group has announced it is scheduled to suspend activities at the end of this year.

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