Morning Quake Hits Kanto Region

Morning quake hits Kanto region

An earthquake hit the Kanto region in and around Tokyo a little after 9 a.m. on Monday, local time.

It had an estimated magnitude of 5.5.

Tokyo Starts Campaign To Ease Morning Congestion

Tokyo starts campaign to ease morning congestion

The Tokyo metropolitan government has started calling on commuters to avoid using trains during the morning rush hour to ease congestion.

Tokyo officials launched the campaign on Monday as part of the run-up to the next year's Olympics and Paralympics to be held in the city.

Morning Musume.'18's Nonaka Miki To Study Abroad For A Short Period

Morning Musume.'18's Nonaka Miki to study abroad for a short period

It's been announced that Morning Musume.'18 member Nonaka Miki will be halting her activities from late-December to mid-February to do a short-term study abroad. 

Nonaka's study abroad request was accepted as she wanted to concentrate on studying English. On her blog, she wrote, "Although I can speak English, I want to improve even more so that more people overseas can get to know Morning Musume. I also personally want to break out of my shell. The members and people around me support my decision of challenging myself. Tsunku-san also pushed my back, telling me to do my best as someone in charge of the global side."

Former Morning Musume's Mitsui Aika To Retire From Showbiz

Former Morning Musume's Mitsui Aika to retire from showbiz

It's been announced that former Morning Musume member Mitsui Aika's contract with agency J.P ROOM has ended. As such, she will be retiring from showbiz. 

Mitsui graduated from Morning Musume back in May of 2012, then had been studying abroad in New Zealand from January of 2014. She had continued her activities in showbiz like participating in Hello! Project's concert 'Hello! Project COUNTDOWN PARTY 2015 ~ GOOD BYE & HELLO ! ~' as an OG member of Morning Musume. However, she wanted to "graduate from showbiz and pursue the path of cooking."

Morning Musume's Sato Masaki To Release First Photo Book

Morning Musume's Sato Masaki to release first photo book

Morning Musume.'18's Sato Masaki will release her first photo book on October 6.

Sato chose to shoot the photo book in her hometown of Hokkaido. She shows many different expressions at cafes, farms, Japanese gardens, and parks. Its DVD will include a 30-minute footage of the making of the photo book. 

Morning Musume.'18 To Release Double A-side Single In October

Morning Musume.'18 to release double A-side single in October

Morning Musume.'18 will release a new single, titled "Furari Ginza / Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara," on October 24. 

Both title tracks were written by Tsunku. Meanwhile, the coupling track "Y Jiro no Tochuu" was written by Ohashi Riko. Limited Edition A will come with a DVD containing the PV for "Furari Ginza," while the Limited Edition B DVD will contain the PV for "Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara." In addition, the Limited Edition SP DVD will include the making footage for the two videos. 

Former Morning Musume Member Yoshizawa Hitomi Arrested

Former Morning Musume member Yoshizawa Hitomi arrested

J.P ROOM Inc. announced that former Morning Musume member Yoshizawa Hitomi was arrested on September 6 around 6:00 pm. 

In the fax statement, Yoshizawa's agency said, "We are checking everything related to the incident including details of what's currently being reported." They plan to take strict action once the details have been confirmed. 

Morning Musume.'18's Iikubo Haruna To Graduate After Fall Tour

Morning Musume.'18's Iikubo Haruna to graduate after fall tour

It's been announced that Iikubo Haruna will graduate from Morning Musume.'18 and Hello! Project after the group's upcoming fall tour 'Morning Musume.'18 Concert Tour Fall ~READY, SET, GO!~.' 

Iikubo explained that she thought about her future as the group celebrates 20 years since formation, "What do I want to challenge myself to the most right know? When I thought about it, there were many things I wanted to challenge," "This year, I will be 24. In order to achieve my challenges, I wanted to go solo at this timing and challenge myself to various things." She plans to continue to activities in showbiz after graduating. 

Morning Hours' Mourners In Nagasaki

Morning hours' mourners in Nagasaki

Seventy-three years ago on this day, the city of Nagasaki was struck by an American atomic bomb. It killed more than 70,000 people in that year alone.

Thousands of people are commemorating the day at an annual ceremony in the city's Peace Park. This year will be the first time a UN Secretary-General will attend.

Morning Musume.'18 Announce Fall Tour

Morning Musume.'18 announce fall tour

Morning Musume.'18 have announced that they will hold a nationwide tour this fall. 

The tour will kick off on September 22 and 23 at Harmony Hall Zama in Kanagawa and will wrap up on December 9 at Fujishi Bunka Kaikan in Shizuoka. You can take a look at the tour schedule below. 

Ogata Haruna To Graduate From Morning Musume

Ogata Haruna to graduate from Morning Musume

It's been announced that Morning Musume.'18 member Ogata Haruna will graduate from the group after concluding their 20th anniversary tour. 

Ogata joined Morning Musume in 2014 as its 12th generation member. Since she joined the group, she had wished to attend an university and took the entrance exams last year. She unfortunately did not pass the exam at the time, but in the past year, she continued to study while being active in Morning Musume. This year she took an exam for a 4-year college as well as a community college. In the examination result announcement earlier this month, it was decided that she would attend a community college. On week days, she plans to attend school full time with hopes to eventually transfer to a 4-year college. As such, after careful discussion with her parents, she decided to graduate. 

Morning Musume To Release Mini Album Commemorating 20th Anniversary

Morning Musume to release mini album commemorating 20th anniversary

To commemorate their 20th anniversary, Morning Musume will release a mini album, titled "Hatachi no Morning Musume," on February 7. 

The album will contain a total of eight songs including the 20th anniversary version of "Ai no Tane," which was released digitally on November 3 as a collaboration between Morning Musume.'17 and the original members (Nakazawa Yuko, Ishiguro Aya, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, and Fukuda Asuka), "Gosenfu no Tasuki" sung by the current members, and a new song sung by both current and former members. In addition, the Limited Edition DVD will contain live footage from Tsuji Nozomi, Takahashi Ai, Michishige Sayumi, and Tanaka Reina's appearance in the group's recent concert at Nippon Budokan, as well as interviews with former members and the PV for "Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.).