Asia News: Maggie Lindemann, Joss Stone, KAT-TUN & More

Maggie Lindemann Arrested Over Permits
American artist Maggie Lindemann was arrested while performing in Malaysia on June 21, according to the South China Morning Post, citing a statement from the chief of immigration in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Apparently, Lindemann was detained because she lacked the proper permits for her concert. 
Later, Lindemann apologized via Instagram, writing, “I’m sorry to the fans that came out to the Malaysia show. I was detained and arrested midway through my set and…confined in a living hell.”
The head of Immigration, Hamidi Adam, said on July 5 that police were tipped off to Lindemann’s concert, which took place at a shopping mall. “She wants to do a show in our country, she has to apply for a professional visit pass,” he said, adding that the singer was released from custody the day after the incident.
“The organizer did not listen to advice and they proceeded with the show,” added Adam. The organizer pleaded guilty in court and was fined RM30,000 ($7,200).
As a result of the arrest and detention Lindemann was unable to complete her Asian tour, which included shows in Singapore and Vietnam. 
Lindemann isn’t the only foreign act detained in Malaysia due to failure to obtain the proper visas. A week later three Japanese women and one Spanish man were arrested during a raid on a cosplay festival in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur for participating without proper documents. 
The four had come to Malaysia on tourist visas, but because they were dressed in costumes and “performing,” they were required to apply for visas to do so through a special government agency. In March, a number of other foreigners taking part in a cosplay festival were also arrested.

Joss Stone
AP Photo / Ben Curtis
– Joss Stone
Purdy Arms, Karen, Kenya

Joss Stone Deported From Iran
British singer Joss Stone said in an Instagram post that she was deported in early July from Iran, where she had arrived presumably as a tourist and not a performer. 
Stone was in the midst of a worldwide, mostly impromptu concert tour of small venues when she arrived at Iran’s Kish Island, though she purportedly had no intention of performing while in the country. 
She wrote that Iranian authorities places her on a “blacklist” because they thought she might try to perform in public. Solo performances by women in Iran are illegal, though they can play and sing in ensembles. 
The news was reported in the Iranian press, but there was no official comment from the government. 
BTS Scores Despite Government Tension

Diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan are at their chilliest right now owing to a tit-for-tat series of official moves, the latest of which sees Japan restricting exports of strategic manufacturing materials to South Korea that threatens to undermine Asian trade in semiconductors. 
The standoff has not materially affected Japanese appetite for K-pop, though. On July 6-7, South Korea’s BTS played sold-out shows at the 50,000-seat Yanmar Stadium in Osaka. Moreover, BTS’s new album, which has songs in Japanese, topped Japan’s Oricon chart for three consecutive days and the single from the album became the biggest-selling single by a foreign act in Oricon history. 
K-pop’s continued attention to the Japanese music market, the second biggest in the world, is worth noting in light of the diplomatic strain. BTS made a special video in Japanese for the song “Lights” as a promotional tool for their Japan tour. 
Though BTS is arguably the biggest pop group in the world right now, it has done so with music recorded mostly in Korean. Only for Japan have they put out new music specifically in that market’s language. 
As one critic told the fansite Allkpop: “Even though Korean songs might work within the group’s fandom in Japan, for the general public it would be more effective to record in Japanese,” and the Japanese market is just too important to ignore.
With regard to the political rift between the two countries, K-pop experts says it seems to have little effect. “Traditional voices like conservative media and right-wing groups [in Japan] will have limited impact on their Japanese activities,” culture critic Jung Duk-hyun told Allkpop. The band has even been featured on the covers of some of Japan’s biggest fashion magazines in recent weeks. 
KAT-TUN Calls Off Chinese Promo Event
Three members of popular J-pop boy band KAT-TUN, who have sold more than 13 million records in Japan, canceled a planned publicity event in Hong Kong due to the political unrest in the Chinese territory. 
A local TV station and a Japanese TV network had planned the concert, dubbed “The Music Day – Beautiful Harmony x KAT-TUN Live in Hong Kong” for several months, according to Digital Music News. 
The event was originally scheduled to take place on July 5-6 in front of 120 selected fans with a concert and a Facebook Q&A session. 
However, the event’s organizer announced on the day of the performance that it would not take place due to “the uncertain situation” in the city, which involved protests against the city government in relation to a proposed extradition law, which has been shelved. 
Two days before the scheduled concert, protesters trashed Hong Kong’s legislature. The group ended up appearing in a live feed from Japan that was broadcast on GEM TV Asia on the afternoon of July 6. 
Fans expressed their disappointment on social media and elsewhere. One told the South China Morning Post that she has followed KAT-TUN for 15 years and thought the organizers had overreacted. “Hong Kong is very safe,” she said, admitting that she herself had taken part in demonstrations. “We fans were looking forward to meeting KAT-TUN, which could have been a much-needed consolation for Hong Kong,” she added. “The city is tired.”
In 2010, KAT-TUN also cancelled a concert in Thailand due to political unrest in that country.
KAT-TUN is managed by powerful J-pop talent agency Johnny & Associates, whose 87-year-old founder, Johnny Kitagawa, died on July 9 in a Tokyo hospital.