On the official site, the members explained, "In June of next year, our long-cherished dream which was to hold a live concert at Saitama Super Arena will come true, and after the dream stage, ?-ute will be disbanding."
According to the announcement, they started thinking concretely about the group's future, as well as each member's future in February which was the timing when all the members reached 20 years old. Then when they were told about the concert last month, they had another chance to talk about the group's future with three choices;
(1) Graduating from Hello! Project, and continue their activities as a group
(2) Going on hiatus
Regarding the reason why they did not choose to leave Hello! Project, and stay as a group, the idols expressed their feelings, "?-ute was born and raised in Hello! Project. While there is Hello! Project, there is ?-ute. We want to be the '?-ute of Hello! Project' until the end."
The members continued, "We've faced with our dream earnestly this past 11 years, and kept running together, so after accomplishing the live at Saitama Super Arena, we surely can say, 'We have no regrets! We fulfilled everything as ?-ute!' with confidence."
About the group's future activities, it was announced that they would not participate in Hello! Project's tour which will begin in January 2017 to focus on ?-ute's activities. There are also plans for fall tour, releasing new single, and more.
They will keep the fans updated for more detailed schedules, as well as the members' solo activities after the disbandment.
?-ute was formed with 8 members back in June 2005, and made their major debut with a single "Sakura Chirari" in February 2007.
After the withdrawal of 3 members, they have been active as a 5-member group with Yajima Maimi, Suzuki Airi, Nakajima Saki, Okai Chisato, and Hagiwara Mai.