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Japanese-style idols LaoNavy put Laos on the pop culture map

Girl group created to advertise strawberries build Southeast Asian fan base

Put together by a Japanese marketing man, Laos' LaoNavy pose in school uniform-style sailor costumes.

BANGKOK -- The idol group craze that swept Asia and made pop cultural icons of its stars has long been the domain of Japanese and South Korean groups, but now the small landlocked nation of Laos is getting in on the act.

Billed as the first Laotian idol group, all-girl LaoNavy have been making waves since their debut in September, building up a fan base in their homeland as well as performing in Thailand and Japan.

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