The nine-member Japanese girl group NiziU, which was introduced in collaboration with JYP Entertainment and Sony Music, made a splash in Japan upon their debut. The members are Japanese, but the selection and development process was carried out in a K-pop manner, which critics say is "localizing the Korean Wave."
NiziU's debut single "Step and a Step," released on the 2nd of this month, is expected to top the weekly singles chart of Japan's famous Oricon music chart with more than 300,000 copies sold in the first week of its release. NiziU's album sales are the second-highest from a girl group's debut in Japanese pop music history.
Last week, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo's leading tourist destination, conducted a three-day Illumination with rainbow colors, the group's iconic color, celebrating NiziU's debut. Inside Shinjuku Station, Tokyo's leading downtown attraction was covered with posters of NiziU. NHK's 'Kōhaku Uta Gassen', an annual New Year's Eve television special with an average viewer rating of 40 percent, has decided to feature the girl group. In a recent column on Korea-Japan relations, Hitoshi Tanaka, a former foreign minister at the Foreign Ministry, described NiziU as a symbol of improving Korea-Japan relations.
NiziU was formed through an audition program conducted by JYP Entertainment, selecting nine Japanese girls to form a K-Pop group. Although the group members are all Japanese, they are trained using the Korean trainee system, forming a K-Pop style Japanese group. Some say that Japan is adapting the K-pop trainee system, which is known for strict training in dancing and singing, to create uniform synchronized dancing