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Japanese fans welcome news of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney's recovery

Musician Paul McCartney performs during the "12-12-12" benefit concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York,
Musician Paul McCartney performs during the "12-12-12" benefit concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York,

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese fans on Friday welcomed news that former Beatle Paul McCartney is expected to make a full recovery from the viral infection that landed him in a Tokyo hospital for treatment.

McCartney, 71, called off his sold-out Japan tour this week after postponing several concerts, much to the disappointment of fans - some of whom had paid 100,000 yen ($980) to see him. He later canceled a concert set for South Korea next week.

"The shock was huge when I heard the two concerts which I had bought tickets for were both canceled," said Shinichi Noguchi, 40, who had come to the Tokyo hotel where McCartney was believed to be staying.

"It's good to hear he's recovering and I'll be happy if he can come to Japan again in the near future."

McCartney spokeswoman Perri Cohen said in a statement on Thursday that McCartney had been treated successfully at a Tokyo hospital for the viral infection, which he came down with a day after his arrival in Japan last week.

"He will make a complete recovery and has been ordered to take a few days rest. Paul has been extremely moved by all the messages and well wishes he has received from fans all over the world," she added.

McCartney, who rarely cancels concerts, said in a statement earlier this week that he hated to disappoint his fans. He came to Japan after a South American tour.

"I hope he fully recovers and will give us a concert in the near future," said Fumio Ito, 66. "Fingers crossed."

The dearth of news about McCartney's condition on Thursday prompted concern among fans around the world, particularly when the only new comment posted on his Twitter account was an old photo of him with a ram.

"We want to know about Paul's health!" one fan tweeted.

McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr are the two surviving members of the super-successful Beatles, which broke up in 1970.

A native of Liverpool who largely taught himself how to play, McCartney has been known for a long and versatile musical life that included a stint with the band "Wings" after the Beatles, followed by a flourishing solo career.

His song "Yesterday" is one of the most covered songs of all time.

In 1980, on arriving in Japan for a tour with "Wings", McCartney was arrested and jailed for some nine days after customs officials found marijuana in his luggage. He was then deported without being charged.

(Reporting by Hyun Oh and Elaine Lies; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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