SHINee's Japan Tour Will Go Ahead After Jonghyun's Death: 'He Is In Our Hearts'

Jonghyun of SHINee
Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

Jonghyun of South Korean boy band SHINee attends the 'SHINee World III' press conference on March 9, 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. 

The four remaining members of SHINee will continue with their planned Japanese concert series next month, the band members confirmed on Tuesday (Jan. 9) in their first public statements following the passing of band member Jonghyun.

SHINee’s Onew (Lee Jinki), Key (Kim Kibum), Minho (Choi Minho), and Taemin (Lee Taemin) uploaded handwritten letters to the band's official website in which they reflect on their decision to push on with the previously-scheduled SHINee World The Best 2018 - From Now On tour dates in Tokyo and Osaka next month. The messages were shared just over three weeks after Jonghyun (Kim Jonghyun) died by suicide on Dec. 18. 

“Many people are worried about us, but we decided to do the planned Japanese shows,” Key wrote. “This decision is something that Jonghyun would want from us, and I believe that it's the most SHINee-like thing to do, to keep our promise to the fans and put on great performances.”

Key also noted 2018 was SHINee’s tenth anniversary, and ended his letter telling fans, “I love and thank you.”

“I thought that I couldn’t do this concert,” wrote Onew, the band’s leader. “However, Jonghyun’s mother told me not to give up. So I thought that if we could comfort those who are missing [Jonghyun] and in pain, then I should work harder even if I am lacking.”  

“Eternally a member of SHINee, Jonghyun is in our hearts and the hearts of our fans,” he continued.

“To be honest, at first I didn’t have confidence to perform,” wrote Taemin. “But I wanted to keep our promise to our fans, and I don’t want to say goodbye to SHINee’s members in the future.”

“Nothing can ever replace Jonghyun, and so [I/we] worried about how we would prepare our performances fully for you,” wrote Minho, who also incorporated lyrics from “Honesty," a SHINee song featuring lyrics written by him and Jonghyun, into the letter. “But [I/we] put all [my/our] sincerity into preparations while knowing that Jonghyun will be with us on all future stages that SHINee will be on in the future.”

The letters mark the first public statements from SHINee’s members following Jonghyun’s funeral service in December. The quartet served as primary mourners along with Jonghyun’s mother and sister throughout the traditional Korean mourning period.

Jonghyun allegedly took his own life after suffering from depression. He was 27-years-old, and one of Korea’s most prominent young singer-songwriters thanks to his career with SHINee and his solo releases.  

SHINee will hold its first stop of the SHINee World The Best 2018 - From Now On tour at the Osaka City Dome on Feb. 17, followed by a second show the next night at the same venue. The K-pop group will head to Tokyo on Feb. 26-27 for shows at the Tokyo Dome.