In somewhat of a surprise (although not too much, if her activity in H!P is any gauge), Kimura Ayaka has graduated from Hello!Project, effective April 30, 2008. Read on for a full article translation.
Here's a full translation of the MSN Japan news article:
Ayaka, member of the musical group Coconuts Musume, which was made up primarily of Hawaiian members, graduated from Hello Project and Coconuts Musume on April 30. She says she will be focusing on work as an actor. As members such as April and Chelsea gradually left the group for educational and other reasons, Ayaka was left as the sole member to perform at concerts and events.
A message was left on the Hello Project site for her fans: "She worked hard as the last remaining member of Coconuts Musume, since it's beginnings in 1999, but has decided that on April 30, 2008, she will graduate from Coconuts Musume and from Hello Project."
Comment from Ayaka of Coconuts Musume:
I'm Ayaka, from Coconuts Musume. I have some information for you all today. In order to follow my dream of becoming an actor, I have decided to graduate from Hello!Project. It's been almost 9 years since our debut in '99... I have a lot of fun memories. Those memories are my precious treasures! I'd like to thank the fans who always supported me, the other Hello Project members who I love, Tsunku who was always watching over us, and all the kind staff members for everything m(__)m! I'm so full of gratitude. I may be graduating from Hello!Project, but I hope you'll still support me as I pursue my dream of becoming an actor!
(There is also an official announcement at the H!P site, but this article includes all the info from there.