What non K-Pop fans think:
The country that is a major global economy and is famous for its technology companies.
In K-Pop context:
An extremely lucrative market that is just a short distance away from Korea.
Winter Sonata kicked off the whole Hallyu wave in Japan but K-Pop artistes have BoA and TVXQ to thank for paving K-Pop's way into Japan. SM Entertainment made both acts play in the same field as Japanese artistes at a time when the Japanese were relatively unreceptive towards K-Pop. Things seemed to change after BoA and TVXQ started topping Oricon charts (Japan's equivalent of Billboard) and now some rookie groups even opt to make their debuts in Japan.