Momoko Tsugunaga, a member of several Hello! Project groups throughout her career, will be retiring from the entertainment industry on June 30, 2017.
"Since I succeeded the Hello! Project Kids Audition on the 30th June of 2002, it would make 15 years, and on this turning point, I have decided to continue further ahead on a new road," Tsugunaga said.
During her 15-year career, Tsugunaga was a member of Berryz Koubou, was the leader of Buono!, and is the Playing Manager of Country Girls.
Tsugunaga's role in Country Girls was to guide the rookie group and its members. She facilitated in their growth. Now, the idol will focus growing as her own person.
After retiring from the entertainment industry, Tsugunaga will become a teacher focusing on early childhood education. The singer graduated from university in 2012 and received a teacher's license for kindergarten and elementary school.
Although she's moving on to the next stage of her life, Tsugunaga expressed her love for the life she's lived up until this point.
"I love being an idol, I love spending everyday with all the fans, and I really enjoyed my activities until now from the bottom of my heart," she said.