Detroit rockers The White Stripes -- due to play in Auckland at the Big Day Out on January 20 -- have axed their current Japanese tour.
Doctors ordered frontman Jack White not to speak for two weeks in a bid to save his ravaged vocal cords, the band said on its website.
The band was scheduled to play gigs in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka starting tomorrow, but postponed performances after frontman White was diagnosed him with an "acute vocal cord problem".
The 30-year-old hopes a prolonged spell of silence will speed his recovery and said he still intended to play the Big Day Out in Auckland.
A spokesperson for the band would not give details of White's ailment but did say there were concerns about the effects of travel on his vocal cords.
The White Stripes were previously forced to cancel a string of UK and US gigs in 2003 after White broke a finger in a car accident in Detroit.