Special performances highlighted the link between 2013 and 1963, when Kyu Sakamoto became the first Japanese artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Billboard Japan Music Awards were broadcast in December on the TV Tokyo networks. The annual award ceremony, now in its fifth year, honored artists based on two categories: "Charts," which celebrates the No. 1 artists on BillboardJAPAN's 2013 year-end charts; And "Artists," determined by total points earned through a popular vote of more than 100 nominees and yearly chart points.
Mega J-pop girl group AKB48 -- currently boasting more than 80 members -- snagged four awards, including "Artist of the Year 2013" which is given to the act who made the biggest impact on the country's music industry. The Japanese idol group won the same four awards last year. Watch a preview video of their most recent Japan Hot 100 No. 1 "Suzukake No Ki No Michi De uKim…," the last chart topper of last year from the Dec. 28, 2013 chart.