2021 Official Japanese “Talent Power Ranking” Reveals The Most Popular K-Pop Groups In Japan

While K-Pop is traveling further afield these days, taking on North America and beyond, Japan remains one of the biggest and most passionate markets for Korean groups to conquer. Now, the 2021 Nikkei Entertainment Talent Power Ranking has been released, showing which acts are the most popular among the Japanese public. Here are all six K-Pop groups that made the list this year.

5. EXO

The K-Pop group with the fifth-highest interest level in Japan is EXO. It’s been several years since they released their only Japanese studio album, Countdown, but it was soon certified Gold in Japan for reaching over 100,000 sales.

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| SM Entertainment

According to the data, 10% of the Japanese public recognizes EXO, and 72.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives EXO an interest value of 7.3% in Japan.

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| SM Entertainment

4. SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN ranks fourth overall for K-Pop groups in Japan. . Not only did their third Japanese single, “Not Alone,” go double platinum in Japan last month, it also set SEVENTEEN’s record as the first overseas male act in history to surpass 200,000 first-week sales with three consecutive singles in Japan.

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| Pledis Entertainment

According to the data, 12% of the Japanese public recognizes SEVENTEEN, and 82.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives SEVENTEEN an interest value of 9.9% in Japan.

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| Pledis Entertainment

3. IZ*ONE

With three popular 48 Group stars in its lineup, IZ*ONE rounds out the top three. Their debut Japanese single, “Suki to Iwasetai,” peaked at no.2 on Japan’s Oricon chart and was certified Platinum for over 250,000 sales.

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According to the data, 14.5% of the Japanese public recognizes IZ*ONE, and 78.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives IZ*ONE an interest value of 11.4% in Japan.

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Likely due to their unfortunate hiatus and subsequent disbandment, IZ*ONE’s public recognition has fallen slightly since 2020. Last year, they were recognized by 18.5% of people in Japan.

2. BTS

In second place is BTS, a group with a long history in Japan. Their most recent Japanese studio album, Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey, sold over 500,000 copies in just two days and surpassed TVXQ‘s 10-year sales record within one week.

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| Big Hit Music

According to the data, 29.5% of the Japanese public recognizes BTS, and 68.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives BTS an interest value of 20.2% in Japan.

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| Big Hit Music

1. TWICE

And sweeping the top spot is TWICE, who became the first Korean girl group to hold a Japanese dome tour back in 2019. Earlier this year, reports credited TWICE as one of the groups creating the third Hallyu wave in Japan.

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| JYP Entertainment

According to the data, 38% of the Japanese public recognizes TWICE, and 68.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives TWICE an interest value of 26% in Japan.

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| JYP Entertainment

TWICE’s public recognition has increased by almost 10% since 2020. Last year, only 29.5% of people in Japan recognized them.

Bonus: NiziU

While JYP Entertainment‘s newest girl group NiziU sings exclusively in Japanese, the company labels them as K-Pop 3.0—”globalization by localization.” In less than a year, they’ve racked up nine certifications on the Japanese charts and received seven awards in Japan.

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| JYP Entertainment

According to the data, 48% of the Japanese public recognizes NiziU, and 70.5% of those who recognize them are also interested in them as a group. Overall, this gives NiziU an interest value of 33.8% in Japan.

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| JYP Entertainment

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