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 Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao with  Smap:  they   announced on  television that they were  staying together after their agent said they were mulling a breakup. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Just three weeks into the New Year, Japan’s Fuji TV may already have scored the highest ratings of 2016 with what, on the surface, seems an unlikely a(...)

Kokepiyo, a girl group, at an in-store event at a Tower Records in Tokyo, one of the chain’s 85 locations in Japan. Photograph: Hiroyuki Ito/The New York Times

Around the world, the music business has shifted toward downloads and streaming. But in Japan, the compact disc is still king.On a drizzly Sunday afte(...)