I'm happy for her and of course am fully supportive of her decision, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't deeply saddened by this announcement.
Namie's career has been long and fulfilling, as she first debuted in the early/mid 90s. However, I first discovered her during the early 00s, when I was just starting to get introduced to the whole world of Jpop and other international musical artists. After hearing and watching her music video for "The Speed Star" and her Queen of Hip-Pop album, I instantly fell in love. From her style, her voice, her dancing and the way she presented herself. I have been following her career ever since. Namie is basically my Queen, my Wife, my Bae, I love her so very much. So as a fan of hers for so long this news of her impending retirement has been a little hard to digest. But ultimately, this is her decision and as of this year she has celebrated not just her 40th birthday but also her 25th anniversary since her career debut, if this is what she wants and feels is right for her at this point in her life, then I support her completely. Besides, she's legendary among the Jpop community. She can literally do anything and people would bow down before her, as they should.
Also, she is planning one final album and a tour before all this happens. It's absolutely fitting that her final year be on a high celebratory note, and I plan on making the most of it. I just wish that she would end up touring somewhere in the US, because I would love to see her live in concert.