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You watched the video for their comeback single on YouTube, devoured the reviews and retweeted the hype. When the album came out, you bought it immediately and had it on repeat for weeks afterwards. And then you waited, waited … but they never came.

Among the many minor frustrations of music fandom in Japan, one of the more pressing concerns is the fact that some overseas artists simply never make it here. For a variety of reasons — travel costs, lower revenues, logistics, increasing demand in markets ranging from Poland to Peru — the Japan tour, once a landmark in many band biographies, has begun to seem more like a costly indulgence. Promoters, too, are increasingly wary of bringing over any act that hasn’t already clocked significant album sales — something that’s becoming ever harder to do. If you’re lucky, you might catch that widely praised Brooklyn indie band in a mid afternoon slot at next year’s Summer Sonic. A bona fide tour? Forget it.

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