On the night of the concert, leader Fukumura Mizuki introduced the new 13th generation members: Kaga Kaede (17) and Yokoyama Reina (15). Kaga first joined Hello Pro Kenshuusei in November 2012 and Yokoyama joined in August 2016.
The 13th generation will begin group activities in the new year as part of Morning Musume ‘17.
Tsugunaga is best known for her time in Berryz Koubou from 2004 to 2015, and she has since been the playing manager of Country Girls. Following her graduation she intends to leave public entertainment and continue on the path of becoming a school teacher, for which she attended university.
September 4, 2016 - Tsubaki Factory to make their major debut in January 2017
During the first show of the September Kenshuusei recital, Hello! Project advisor Shimizu Saki interrupted Tsubaki Factory on stage, right before their first nine-member performance of "Hitorijime." Shimizu announced to the members and fans that Tsubaki Factory's major debut has been decided, leaving the girls speechless and in tears.
Their major debut will be in January 2017, one year and eight months after the group's formation in late April 2015.
On the morning of August 20, ℃-ute made a shocking announcement that they would disband next June after a concert held at Saitama Super Arena.
The group began discussing their future back in February. When they were told in July that they would be performing at Saitama Super Arena, the members decided rather than graduating from Hello! Project and continuing as ℃-ute separately or going on hiatus, they would disband. As ℃-ute began and grew as a part of Hello! Project, the members want to end as ℃-ute of Hello! Project.
Formed in June 2005, ℃-ute will complete their twelfth year on June 11, 2017. They are grateful for everyone's support and will continue to push towards their goal of performing at Saitama Super Arena. Afterwards, the five members will continue to fulfill their individual goals and dreams.
After a three month long hiatus, it was announced on August 4 that Inaba had decided to graduate from the group due to her condition not improving, and thus making her unable to participate in further activities. It was not stated whether she also graduated from Hello! Project, however she will remain with Up-Front Promotion and they will look into her future possibilities.
July 16, 2016 - Kasahara Momona joins ANGERME as 5th Generation Member
If you don't remember an audition, there's nothing wrong with your memory. In a surprise announcement at the first Hello! Project 2016 SUMMER show, Kasahara Momona was announced a new member of ANGERME. She went on to perform two songs with ANGERME, and one with all of Hello! Project.
Kasahara is 12 years old and comes from Kanagawa. She initially became part of Hello! Project in April 2015 as a Kenshuusei.
June 15, 2016 - Morning Musume 13th Generation Re-recruitment
Less than three weeks since it was announced the Morning Musume '16 Shinseiki Audition ended without winners, auditions have already restarted. It is being treated as a continuation of the previous audition rather than being given an all-new name, though they sometimes refer to this as "saiboshuu" (再募集; re-recruitment).
Awarded by judges were: 23rd generation member Takase Kurumi (Singing Award), 24th generation members Akiyama Mao (Dance Award) and 19th generation member Inoue Hikaru (Special Award). Takase Kurumi is also runner-up to Kasahara Momona and Kiyono Momohime (receiving 225 fan votes).
April 28, 2016 - Inaba Manaka on Hiatus for Health Reasons
Inaba Manaka has announced she will be taking an extended hiatus from Country Girls through at least the summer, due to complications from her asthma becoming an increasing problem in her recent activities. When she will return will be determined in the future, but she is expected to at least miss being a part of Country Girls Live Tour 2016 Haru Natsu running from May to June, as well as the Hello! Project 2016 SUMMER concerts scheduled for July through September.