December 31, 2013 - Mitsui Aika to study abroad; go on hiatus from Hello! Project
It was announced at the Hello! Project COUNTDOWN PARTY 2013 ~GOOD BYE & HELLO!~ on December 31, 2013 that former Morning Musume and current GREEN FIELDS member, Mitsui Aika, will be studying English abroad. She did not specify what English-speaking country she is going to, when she will be leaving Japan (other than "January"), or when she will be returning. She will be on hiatus from Hello! Project until she returns to Japan.
December 21, 2013 - Kaneko Rie has left Hello Pro Kenshuusei
On December 28, Kaneko Rie's father, Naoki, posted on Facebook confirming that his daughter had quit Hello Pro Kenshuusei on December 14, 2013. He thanks fans for their support.
December 6, 2013 - Morning Musume name change, single announcement
Tsunku has announced through his blog the release of Morning Musume's 55th single-- but there's a twist. Morning Musume will be changing its name to "Morning Musume '14" (read as "Morning Musume One-Four") starting with this single, the single will be released on January 29, 2014.
On January 1, 2014 the name will be changed to "Morning Musume '14"
October 30, 2013 - Morning Musume to represent the Japanese Olympic Team
Great news for Morning Musume fans. On Wednesday, October 30th the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) declares Morning Musume the official support team, called "Nippon! Call Project Ambassadors", for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Sochi, Russia. The girls will both cheer Team Japan and sing the official cheer song, which will be produced by Tsunku himself.
A special project, entitled "Nippon! Call Project", was introduced to the media on that same day. The project features an app (available in the Apple and Android App Store), in which people can show support to Team Japan. It requires entering one's name and a recording of them yelling "Nippon!", which both will be received by the Japanese Sport Teams.
In the past, the group released a cheer song titled "THE Manpower!!!", for the baseball team, the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles. The previous time the girls released an Olympic-related song was in 2000, with "I WISH" being TBS's theme song for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. This is the first time the group are singing an official theme song for the Japanese Olympic Team.
Fukumura blogged on October 25, 2013 reporting that her grandfather had passed away. Her grandfather was well known among her fans because she often mentioned him in lives and mentioned he owned trains. Her grandfather not only loved trains, but also loved dogs, cats, rabbits, motorcycles and cameras.
October 25, 2013 - Umeda Erika to make a come-back in the music industry
Some good news for former C-ute member Umeda Erika fans! On October 25, 2013 Umeda announced through her blog and a YouTube video that she would be returning to the music industry as a soloist, she picked October 25 to announce her come-back because it marked the 4th year since her graduation from C-ute. She has opened her own website and will perform her first solo live on December 22, 2013 titled "~Starting Over~".
October 21, 2013 - Mashiro Kana withdraws from Hello! Pro Kenshuusei
October 7, 2013 - Former Morning Musume member Kago Ai will form a girl group!
On October 7th, former 4th generation Morning Musume member Kago Ai, who was fired because of a series of scandals, announced on her diamond-blog, that she was going to form a new 4-member girlgroup within her new agency she recently joined.
Girls between 15 and 21 that live in the area of Tokyo and are not under a different production can audition. Two of the girls will be picked by Kago herself and she´s looking for girls with special abilities.
September 4, 2013 - Morning Musumes 54th single a big success
...that AKB48 members Umeda Ayaka (2004), Kashiwagi Yuki and Sato Sumire (2006), SKE48 member Furukawa Airi (2005), HKT48 member Tashima Meru, 'SDN48 member Noro Kayo, all auditioned for the Morning Musume, but failed.
...that AKB48 member Kojima Haruna would have rather auditioned for Morning Musume than AKB48.
...that AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko's first CD that she ever bought was LOVE Machine.
...that Akimoto Yasushi got inspired by H.P. All Stars, having over 40 members, and decided to create AKB48 to have more members.