NHK Denies Lack Of K-Pop At Kohaku Uta Gassen Due To Racial Tensions
Wednesday 28 Nov, 2012 - 03:58am UTC
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After the performers for this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen
were announced, many noticed that no Korean acts were invited to perform, sparking speculation that tensions between the Japanese and South Koreans led to their exclusion.
With many K-pop acts expanding into Japan last year, Kohaku saw an unprecedented amount of foreign singers perform at the prestigious year-end program. Groups such as TVXQ
and Girls' Generation
have all proved their popularity and have seen much more success in the country than most other Korean artists that have attempted to make it in Japan.
Despite all 3 groups topping the charts in Japan with original Japanese releases, none of them were invited to the year end show. According to officials from NHK
, the network that broadcasts the program, the K-pop acts were determined no to be popular enough or having received enough support from fans.
Netizens came up with an alternative explanation for K-pop's exclusion from the program, citing the controversial dispute the two countries have had over a pair of islands in the Sea of Japan, which the Japanese call Takeshima and the South Koreans call Dokdo, that both country claim is theirs. The conflict over the two has resurfaced long-standing tensions between the countries as well as fired up nationalistic pride among their citizens.
NHK denies that political tensions between the two countries affected the decision not to invite K-pop acts to this year's Kohaku. "There is no correlation between the [Takeshima/Dokdo] controversy and the fact that there are no Korean artists appearing at this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen
," an official told Spanso News
At least one Korean drama was taken off the air in Japan earlier this year after an actor from the show voiced his support of South Korea's claim to the disputed islands, demonstrating the influence the controversy has over Japanese culture.
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