Last year marked a paradigm shift for the music industry in Japan. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a move toward digital, an area the nation’s labels and artists have long bristled at embracing. With people stuck at home, unable to go to concerts or pop into CD stores, companies had to adapt to the internet, whether by uploading entire discographies to subscription streaming services or putting on livestreamed shows. In 2020, J-pop finally caught up with the 21st century.

Even in the new year, however, the novel coronavirus continues to disrupt the country’s music community. On Jan. 7, Japan announced a second state of emergency that affected Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, and expanded the heightened safety measures to include seven more prefectures on Wednesday, forcing in-person events to postpone or cancel. Large-scale gatherings are still off the table.

While much remains in limbo, there is plenty of change as the new year settles in. If 2020 served as the start of a more internet-friendly (or at least internet-tolerant) era in Japanese music, 2021 will see just what developments this reality can foster.