What kind of music do today's young Japanese like?
For listening pleasure, young Japanese show interest in a variety of music on the hit charts in the United States and the United Kingdom such as rock, hip hop, reggae, Eurobeat, and new techno pop.
However, when it comes to singing songs themselves, domestic Japanese pop music is more popular.
Yuming (Matsutoya Yumi), Mister Children, and other singers and groups sell several hundred thousand copies of each CD they release.
Utada Hikaru's album First Love (Toshiba EMI) set a new sales record in the world of Japanese pop.
Released in March 1999, it sold over 6.5 million copies in only two months, its popularity assured by easy interweaving of Japanese and English lyrics, and music that captured the emotions of the young generation perfectly.
Various other singers would vie for recognition, but the only one to reach the status of Hikaru Utada is probably Ayumi Hamasaki.
The songstress won the Japan Record Award consecutively in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
In Japan, karaoke has spread to every corner, and popular hit songs immediately are turned into karaoke music, which greatly helps to sustain the popularity of the songs.