Bad Blood Continues
Bad blood between Japan and Korea over an island that both countries claim continues to interfere with cross-cultural activities.
Two of Japan’s three year-end music awards show have announced their lineups and neither features a K-pop artist.
The FNS Music Awards and the Best Hit Music Awards revealed the artists they invited. All are Japanese.
Usually, such awards shows make their choices based on sales, and several K-pop artists are among the top sellers of the year in Japan, including
Kara and DBSK, both of which appeared at awards shows last year.
The third major Japanese year-end music show, public broadcaster NHK’s Kohaku Utagassen song contest, hasn’t announced its lineup yet, but several weeks ago the president of NHK expressed his disapproval of the Korean handling of the island dispute.
Nevertheless, a Korean talent agency has announced it is going ahead with the planned long-term rental of a Tokyo theater. In 2007, the Blue Theater in the upscale Tokyo neighborhood of Roppongi was built to house performances by the
Blue Man Group whose run was so popular it was extended several times until it finally ended earlier this year.
This fall, the theatre is being used for a Michael Jackson tribute show featuring several King of Pop impersonators.
Korea’s CJ E&M will join hands with Japan’s biggest entertainment concern, Amuse, to reopen the theatre in April to stage an ongoing series of Korean musicals exclusively.
In doing so, the joint venture will rename the 900-seat venue Amuse Musical Theater. According to the Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper, the venture expects annual ticket sales of 20 billion won ($18.3 million).