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Last week, Korean pop group Twice made its “official” debut in Japan, featuring the release of a Japanese-language best-of compilation and a showcase at Tokyo Gymnasium on July 2. In between, the members appeared on the popular weekly TV show “Music Station” and posed in front of Tokyo Tower, which displayed the name of one of their most popular songs on its display.

Japanese media has primarily focused on the fact three of Twice’s members are Japanese. That’s fine, and almost certainly what the group’s label wanted when assembling the outfit. Yet absent from nearly all reports on Twice is musical context. Coverage treats the group like a viral phenomenon with a dash of patriotism stirred in.

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