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Over the past two decades, Japanese pop culture has made major inroads abroad, thanks mainly to interest in video games and anime.

Interest in those two areas has never really translated into much love for J-pop in the West, but recent acts such as Babymetal and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu have made some progress winning new fans. Garrett Yim, the musician behind electronic project Meishi Smile, says that despite small gains, J-pop fans are still treated with a bit of apprehension.

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