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YesAsia 2018 Bestsellers - Japanese Music

Written by YumCha! Editorial Team Tell a Friend

For 2018, we've split the J-pop music charts into releases by Japanese and Korean artists to provide more detailed rankings. EXO became our top-selling artist in Japanese music for the first time thanks to the strong sales of Countdown, the best-selling Japanese album of the year. Twice claimed the top two singles of 2018 and the #5 album.

Other big K-pop names like BTS, SHINee, Monsta X, GOT7 and BLACKPINK continued to rank high. BTS, in particular, is the second highest-selling artist with an album, a single and three concerts charting in the top ten. Seventeen, NCT 127, Red Velvet, Dreamcatcher, GFriend, Mamamoo and EXID all made their Japan debuts in 2018 and shook up the top spots.

Utada Hikaru's 20th anniversary album Hatsukoi is the only Japanese artist album in the top ten overall. The top ten singles by Japanese artists are Johnny's across the board with KinKi Kids leading the way for the first time. Though Arashi ceded the top spot, the group is well represented as the highest-selling Japanese artist with three singles in the top ten, the top-selling concert for the eighth consecutive year, and their 2017 album staying on the chart. Amuro Namie's final album also continued to chart along with new releases by Dir En Grey, Hamasaki Ayumi, Perfume and Johnny's groups Hey! Say! JUMP and Kanjani8.

The below rankings are based on Japanese music sales on from January 1 to December 31, 2018.




1. EXO
2. BTS
3. SHINee
4. Twice
5. Arashi
6. Monsta X
8. Amuro Namie
9. Hey! Say! JUMP
10. Seventeen

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Published January 9, 2019

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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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