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Japanese music hasn’t made many inroads into Western markets this decade. Save for some brief viral flashes and niche success, the country’s artists have mostly been overlooked. However, Sean Miyashiro, founder of media company 88rising, thinks Japan still holds one big advantage.

“I think the perception of Japan in the West is of being the coolest Asian country,” he tells The Japan Times on a recent trip to Tokyo. “Korean pop music is great, that’s a different level of appreciation. But when it comes to culture, when it comes to appreciation even to Asian people, it’s perceived that way.”

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