On July 29, U-KISS announced during their Japanese concert at Tokyo NHK Hall, “AJ will be leaving U-KISS temporarily to attend Columbia University in the U.S.” The surprise announcement officially confirmed AJ’s enrollment at Columbia University for the first time after the news about his acceptance to the school.

AJ stated, “I would like to sincerely apologize to my fellow members and fans for leaving the team at such a crucial period. When I come back to U-KISS next year, it will be more mature and grown up AJ you will see.” He could not help but to tear up a little bit when talking about leaving U-KISS for a year.

U-KISS’s agency NH Media also released an official statement regarding AJ’s temporary absence, “AJ decided to put his showbiz career on hold to pursue academic career at Columbia University. The agency, AJ’s family, and AJ himself have talked about this for a very long time and made the decision together. This does not mean AJ is leaving U-KISS for good. He will come back next year to continue his career as a member of U-KISS.”

Meanwhile, U-KISS plans on releasing a new album in September.