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AKB48 and Justin Bieber Top Billboard Japan’s Year-End Charts

Billboard's sister organization Billboard Japan has unveiled its 2016 year-end chart rankings. The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions…

Billboard‘s sister organization Billboard Japan has unveiled its 2016 year-end chart rankings. The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! view counts, Gracenote look-ups and streaming counts based on lyrics displayed on PetitLyrics. The Hot Albums chart is based on physical and digital sales, as well as Gracenote look-ups.

With over 2.5 million copies sold, AKB48‘s “Tsubasa Wa Iranai” topped the 2016 year-end Japan Hot 100 chart, a record fourth time for the group since the chart’s launch in 2008. All four singles released by AKB48 this year went straight to No. 1 on the Japan Hot 100, each selling over 1.4 million copies. The group spoke to Billboard Japan and commented on their impressive chart win.

Mion Mukaichi, AKB48: My first solo center spot was with this song and I’m happy it grew to be loved by so many people.

Yui Yokoyama, AKB48: It gives us great confidence to know that a song which featured one of our younger members Mion at the center spot, was loved by so many people. It’s a huge honor and we feel super motivated for next year.

Yuki Kashiwagi, AKB48: “Tsubasa Wa Iranai” had a folk song like melody and was different from anything we had put out, which was a challenge for us. I’m glad it was heard by lots of people and achieving the No. 1 ranking will surely help boost our confidence.

Mayu Watanabe, AKB48: Topping the year-end chart is the not an easy thing to do. I’m filled with gratitude towards the people who listened to the song, and want to keep working even harder with this feeling in mind.

“Zen Zen Zense” by RADWIMPS, featured in the break-out animated film “Your Name” (Kimi No Na Wa) came in a close second, despite not being released as a physical single and only made available on the film’s soundtrack. The song accumulated major points through digital downloads (No. 1 overall) and radio airplay (No. 1 overall) which made it the No. 1 song on the year-end “Radio Songs” chart, Twitter mentions (No. 2 overall) and online video view counts (No. 2 overall). “Zen Zen Zense” also ranked atop the year-end Hot Animation charts and still continues to dominate (it’s No. 1 on this week’s Hot Animation chart dated Dec. 12), along with the film, which recently became the second-highest-grossing domestic film in Japanese history.


A closer look into the metrics which make up the Japan Hot 100 show that Arashi‘s “I seek” ranked No. 1 in look-up, SMAP‘s “Sekai Ni Hitotsu Dake No Hana” (originally released in 2002) topped Twitter mentions and Piko-Taro‘s viral sensation “PPAP” reigned the YouTube and GYAO! view counts. Notably, SMAP and Piko-Taro ‘s success on these platforms helped boost physical sales, which was indicative of a new model for a “hit song,” unlike the traditional Japanese model which relies heavily on physical sales.

Fantome, Hikaru Utada‘s first album in eight years, far and away ruled the Hot Albums year-end chart. After the album debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Albums chart in October, it stayed atop for four consecutive weeks, and continued to stay in the No. 2 spot for four more weeks. In terms of metrics, the album finished No. 1 in digital sales, No. 3 in physical sales and No. 4 in look-ups. On her chart win, Hikaru commented, “This was the first album in eight years, and I’m very happy that it was delivered to lots of people through numerous platforms. Thank you.”

The aforementioned film soundtrack Kimi No Na Wa by RADWIMPS came in second on the Hot Albums year-end chart. As with “Fantome,” the album also debuted at No.1 and continued to reign for four more weeks. Since then, it has stayed firmly in the Top 10 making it to No. 2 in digital sales, No. 3 in look-ups and No. 7 in physical sales overall.

2016 proved to be a big year for Justin Bieber, who nabbed the No. 1 and No. 2 spot on the Hot Overseas year-end chart with “Sorry” and comeback single “What Do You Mean?” respectively. Justin is the first artist since the chart’s launch to claim the top 2 slots, and logged a total of 3 singles in the Top 20 with “Love Yourself” (which topped the Billboard US Hot 100 year-end charts) coming in at No.16. Meanwhile, his album Purpose ranked at No.26 on the Hot Albums year-end chart, making it the highest charting album by an international artist.

Check out the top tens of these Billboard Japan lists below:

Billboard JAPAN Hot 100 of the Year 2016
1. “Tsubasa Wa Iranai”- AKB48
2. “Zen Zen Zense”- RADWIMPS
3. “Koi”- Gen Hoshino
4. “Kimi Wa Melody”- AKB48
5. “Sekai Ni Hitotsu Dake No Hana”- SMAP
6. “PPAP”- Piko-Taro
8. “High Tension”- AKB48
9. “SUN”- Gen Hoshino
10. “Silent Majority”- Keyakizaka46

Billboard JAPAN Hot Albums of the Year 2016
1. Fantome- Hikaru Utada
2. Kimi No Na Wa- RADWIMPS
3. THE JSB LEGACY- Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE
4. Are You Happy?- Arashi
5. Chandelier- back number
6. YELLOW DANCER- Gen Hoshino
7. Just LOVE- Kana Nishino
8. Ano Hi Ano Toki- Kazumasa Oda
10. E.G. SMILE-E-girls BEST- E-girls

Billboard JAPAN Hot Overseas of the Year 2016
1. “Sorry”- Justin Bieber
2. “What Do You Mean?”- Justin Bieber
3. “Shake It Off”- Taylor Swift
4. “See You Again”- Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
5. “Uptown Funk feat. Bruno Mars”- Mark Ronson
6. “Work from Home feat. Ty Dolla $ign”- Fifth Harmony
7. “I Really Like You”- Carly Rae Jepsen
8. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”- Justin Timberlake
9. “Call Me Maybe”- Carly Rae Jepsen
10. “Sugar”- Maroon 5

Billboard JAPAN Hot Animation of the Year 2016
1. “Zen Zen Zense”- RADWIMPS
2. “Tomo YoÅ`Kono Saki Mo Zutto…”- Ketsumeishi
3. “Himawari No Yakusoku”- Motohiro Hata
4. “Nandemo Naiya”- RADWIMPS
5. “Chicken LINE”- SKE48
6. “Sparkle”- RADWIMPS
7. “Fantastic Time”- Hey!Say!JUMP
8. “Try Everything”- Dream Ami
9. “Sugar Song To Bitter Step”- UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
10. “Hanamaru Pippi Wa Yoiko Dake”- AOP

Billboard JAPAN Radio Songs of the Year 2016
1. “Zen Zen Zense”- RADWIMPS
2. “Koi”- Gen Hoshino
3. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”- Justin Timberlake
4. “Michi”- Hikaru Utada
5. “Cake By The Ocean”- DNCE
6. “FLASH”- Perfume
7. “Adventure Of A Lifetime”- Coldplay
8. “SUN”- Gen Hoshino
9. “Stay feat. Maty Noyes”- Kygo
10. “Hanataba Wo Kimini “- Hikaru Utada