As Japan's most popular messaging app proudly and excitedly plans a dual listing in Tokyo and New York, many Wall Street folks are turning to Google, typing "What is Line?"

This question says more about the state of even Japan's most innovative industries than fans of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's revival scheme want to admit. Line's business of selling emojis and cartoon stickers to Japan's texting-crazed masses is wildly popular at home. But even with 218 million users, it's still a bit player globally. That's where a messaging product needs to be focused to make a dent versus WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, China's WeChat and any new players to emerge in the months and years ahead.

Finance types are currently marveling at the $4 billion Line is leaving on the table. That's how much in valuation two years' worth of hesitation in timing this initial public offering on the part of Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Idezawa and his staff may have cost the company. As they dithered, Mark Zuckerberg's colossus made huge inroads on Line's turf as investors cooled on tech IPOs. Also, the Nikkei 225 has since stumbled into bear-market territory, as evidenced by a recent 582-point plunge.