Sir Paul McCartney said today he was " extremely moved" by the messages of support he has received after he was struck down by an illness that forced him to cancel a string of gigs.

The 71-year-old former Beatle pulled out of tour dates in Japan and South Korea after contracting a virus.

He has been treated for the illness at a Tokyo hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

A statement released on behalf of Sir Paul said: " Since contracting a virus last week that led to the postponement of tour dates, Paul received successful medical treatment at a hospital in Tokyo.

"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."

Sir Paul was in south east Asia as part of his world tour and was scheduled to perform at Jamsil Sports Complex Main Stadium in Seoul next Wednesday in what would have been his first concert in South Korea.

But his illness caused him to cancel the gig and miss four scheduled concerts in Japan, including two in Tokyo.

He pulled out of the shows after doctors ordered "complete rest", according to his website.

He is also due to play 19 US performances later this year.