Anime Expo® Announces Morning Musume as First Official Guests of Honor for 2009 Convention in Los Angeles

Feb 12th 2009

Nation's Largest Anime and Manga Convention Welcomes Japan's Top Female Group from Hello! Project

Anaheim, California and Tokyo, Japan (February 12, 2009) — With excitement beyond belief, Anime Expo® proudly announces the attendance and performance of Japan's most celebrated and top all-girl music group MORNING MUSUME (also referred to as “Momusu”) to the nation's largest anime and manga convention held July 2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information can be found on the website www.anime-expo.org .

The MORNING MUSUME (モーニング娘. Morning Daughter) is a one of a kind all-girl group whose story began in 1997 when Japanese producer TSUNKU♂ held auditions for a female rock vocalist for his band SHARAN Q held on the Japanese TV show ASAYAN. With the five runner-ups from the contest, Tsunku decided to create an all-girl group that sold 50,000 copies of their indies CD single “Ai no Tane” and debuted as MORNING MUSUME. They are the lead group of Hello! Project .

MORNING MUSUME's first single “Morning Coffee” made a huge splash by hitting the #6 position in the Japanese pop charts within its first week of release. In August of 1998, MORNING MUSUME reached the #1 spot in the Japanese pop charts with their 3rd single “HOLD ON ME”. In 1999, the group had their first nationwide tour with 19 performances in 7 cities for 40,000 fans.

In September of 1999, MORNING MUSUME released their smash hit “Love Machine” that sold 2 million copies and held the first place spot in the Japanese pop charts and stayed 17 weeks on the Oricon Karaoke Chart.

MORNING MUSUME is famous not just for being Japan's top female group, but also for its unique approach with the shuffling of members. Producer TSUNKU♂ creates freshness by graduating band members and adding new members to create different units and adds fresh new faces for fans old and new.

In 2007, MORNING MUSUME made a historic impact within the Japanese music industry as the band welcomed new members Jun Jun and Lin Lin from China and began to reach an international audience. In 2008, MORNING MUSUME celebrated their 10th anniversary. MORNING MUSUME is definitely the world's most famous and successful Japanese all-girl group.

MORNING MUSUME consists of band members Ai Takahashi, Risa Niigaki, Eri Kamei, Sayumi Michishige, Reina Tanaka, Koharu Kusumi, Aika Mitsui, JunJun, and LinLin. Images available upon request and/or via the Anime Expo® 2009 Online Press Kit. Attendees, Press and Industry Members are also encouraged to view the video coverage site of the 2008 convention at www.AXBackstage.org and to register for the 2009 convention at www.anime-expo.org .

In coordination with this event, JapanFiles.com will release Morning Musume's digital catalog on its website, beginning with the release of the group's new single "Naichau kamo" on February 18, 2009. JapanFiles.com will also open a special Morning Musume store for fans with official goods from Japan.

About Anime Expo® Located in Los Angeles, California - Anime Expo®, the nation's largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. AX 2009 will be held July 2 – July 5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Southern California. More information can be found at its website (www.anime-expo.org).

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property – Anime Expo®. More information can be found at its website (www.spja.org ).

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.


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