S/mileage will add 3rd generation members and change their name.
The announcement was made during the most recent episode of Hello! Project Station. The new members will be drawn from the Hello! Project Trainees.
The proposal was put forth by 1st generation members Wada Ayaka and Fukuda Kanon. They both expressed a desire for the group to continue to thrive beyond their eventual graduations. Their goal is to have the group evolve along the lines of Morning Musume, with regular member additions and graduations.
A full statement was posted on the Hello! Project website and Up-Front Link.
S/mileage made their major debut for more than 4 years and a half.
We began as 4 members but on 2011 Ogawa and Maeda successively graduated and the group had to surpass a crisis.
During this crisis 2nd generation members have been added and 6 members composed the group since then. We, as 6 members, had to overcome many things and this year, we have been able to successfully perform at the Budokan, a dream for us.
For S/mileage, it was something really big and we have been able to get more self-confidence by ourselves.
We feel really [sic] gratitude towards the 4 members of the 2nd generation.
With the successful Budokan’s live, we have reached the point of thinking that S/mileage can do things bigger and bigger.
Then during some habitual discussion with the 2nd generation, we sometimes felt anxiety from them about what will happen to the group if we, the original members, would graduate from S/mileage.
We discussed with our staff, and we will add members from Hello! Pro Kenshuusei. We think that adding new members would be a good stimulus for everyone.
With this new group’ start, our name will change as well. We are currently taking applications for this new name.
It was “the first chapter” of S/mileage until now. We think that with the new group’s name, we, as 6 members plus the new members will start “the second chapter”.
To be able to do what we couldn’t do until now, we would like to challenge new things in order to reach this potentiality.
Please continue to support us from now as well.
S/mileage Ayaka Wada, Kanon Fukuda
More information on the new members will be announced on October 4
Source: Hello! Project