February 11, 2014 - Auditions for Country Musume announced
On February 11, an audition for new Country Musume members was announced. The audition is open to girls aged ten to seventeen from all over Japan. Applications begin on February 12 and end on March 31. Satoda Mai will not be part of the unit, as she now resides outside of Japan.
December 31, 2013 - Mitsui Aika to study abroad; go on hiatus from Hello! Project
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.