Here’s what he has said:
From the bottom of my heart, I have to thank you very much for always supporting Morning Musume。 and Hello! Project.
Without delay, I have an information concerning Morning Musume。.
There will be a modification concerning the group’s name Morning Musume。.
From the 1st of January 2014, the name of the group Morning Musume。 will be “Morning Musume。’14” (モーニング娘。’14 in Japanese). The way of reading the group’s name is “Morning Musume One Four”.
On 2014, Morning Musume。 kept this group’s name for 17 years. From now on, to leave no doubt like “About when has this single song “XXX” been released!?” or “During which period did the member “XXX” take part of Morning Musume。?”, the year will be displayed and the group can continue its activity after this for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.
Therefore, the 1st January 2015, the group’s name will become “Morning Musume。’15” (Morning Musume。 One Five).
Well, it might become confusing and you might give up lol, but at any rate, from the New Year’s Day, please support those girls who will become “Morning Musume。’14”!
The 55th single of Morning Musume。 ’14 will be released on 29th January 2014. From now on, a new feeling will start!
6th December 2013
Morning Musume。’s Producer
Now, I’m just gonna put my 2 cent opinion in right quick! When I first read this announcement I thought it was absolutely dumb and not really necessary to change a group name after 17 years of it being the same. But now that I really thought about it more I guess it kinda makes more sense. I still think it’s ridiculous, but I guess it’s something we’re just going to get use to. I love Morning Musume therefore I will still love Morning Musume ’14, Morning Musume ’15, Morning Musume ’20, and Mornng Musume ‘whatever other number. I thought Juice=Juice was a weird group name when I first hear it but I’m completely use to it now, other non-H!P groups changed their names and they’re completely fine and successful such as Momoiro Clover Z. People don’t like change and this change is just going to take some time to get use to.
I kinda think it makes a bit more sense to track which Morning Musume members were active during the years though. Say if somebody asked which Morning Musume was Takahashi Ai in, somebody would reply with “Oh, she was in Morning Musume ’01 to Morning Musume ’11.” I guess it would be that type of thing to say, it’s still a bit weird but what can you really do about it? Flying all the way to Japan to yell at Tsunku isn’t going to much at all. I don’t really like the new name change and I’m sure a lot of people don’t either, but we just gotta suck it up, get use to it, and live with it. Who knows, maybe it’ll only be a phase and not even last that long. I guess we’ll just have to see how their new name goes.