Asia News: Japan’s National Stadium Gets Manager; BTS’ Jin Completes Military Service; Waterbomb Typhoon; DJ NewJeansNim Canceled Again

Extra Police Deployed To Manage Fans As Jin From BTS Reports For Mandatory Military Service
Fans wait to see BTS’s Jin begins military service in front of the 5th Infantry Division recruit training center, on December 13, 2022 in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea. Jin will be the first member of BTS to complete mandataroy military service and reseumes his entertainment career starting June 13. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)


NTT Documo To Manage National Stadium

A consortium led by one of Japan’s mobile phone carriers, NTT Docomo, has been selected by the Japan Sports Council to manage and operate the National Stadium, which was built for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The consortium, according to Jiji Press, also includes the professional soccer J.League; Maeda, a general contractor; and SMFL Mirai Partners, a real estate operator. It has offered to pay 52.8 billion yen ($340 million) for the operating rights to the stadium for 30 years.

The NTT Docomo group easily beat two rival bidders for the rights with a proposal that fell in line with the wishes of the Japan Sport Agency, which wants to switch the stadium over to private operations that would include naming rights and other revenue-making schemes, one of which is to make the stadium more attractive as a venue for large-scale concerts.


BTS’s Jin First To Complete Military Service

Giant K-pop entertainment agency Hybe is wasting no time in getting one of its most important charges, Jin of the internationally popular boy band BTS, back to work following his discharge from mandatory military service on June 12.

On June 13, Jin is scheduled to attend the annual fan event to commemorate BTS’s debut at the Jamsil Sports Complex in Seoul. As part of the event, Jin will hug 1,000 lucky fans one-by-one, according to the Korea Times.

However, Jin’s reentry into show biz life has already met with a snag.

BigHit Music, the agency that directly represents BTS, had set up the event to commemorate Jin’s discharge specifically for members of Army, which is BTS’ official fan club, but “entrants” to the event would be required to purchase BTS’ “Proof” album or “any subsequent solo albums by BTS members” through a particular online shop during a fixed window of time.

A number of fans reacted negatively, since they had already purchased the albums named.

Moreover, one’s chance for winning a slot for the event increased with the number of albums purchased.

Army members raised “ethical concerns” about this particular “sales strategy.”

After some noisy give-and-take, BigHit eventually apologized for the gambit, saying it would “revise the entry criteria” to include those who had previously purchased the required albums through the designated portal.

Jin is the first member of BTS to be discharged from military service. All the other members are still carrying out their assignments.


Waterbomb Delayed By Typhoon

The Hong Kong edition of the Waterbomb Festival, a large-scale traveling music event centered on K-pop and hip-hop artists, was slated to take place June 1-2 at Wonderland in the West Kowloon Cultural District, but was disrupted by a typhoon.

According to the Standard, admissions to the festival were delayed by up to two hours because of heavy rain, which resulted in many ticketholders being stranded outside the venue and missing several performances.

Attendees said that the line for checking belongings was too long and many had to wait several hours in the rain to obtain a wristband and plastic bags for their things.

The problem was especially difficult for those who had traveled from the mainland with luggage. In addition, when the event was over at 10:30 p.m., a good number of people who had checked their belongings were forced to wait up to four hours to retrieve them.

Participants subsequently took to social media where they blasted the festival organizers for alleged poor management, causing the organizers to apologize and pledge to add more manpower for the second day of the festival.

All ticketholders would receive free plastic bags so that they wouldn’t need to check their belongings.


DJ NewJeansNim Canceled Again

The Singapore night club Club Rich has told news outlet CNA that it has canceled the upcoming appearance by the popular and controversial DJ NewJeansNim because of the artist’s use of Buddhist gestures and texts in his music.

DJ NewJeansNim, who is South Korean but has no connection to the popular K-pop girl group NewJeans, performs in Buddhist monks’ robes and often incorporates mantras in his work.

The DJ was scheduled to perform at Club Rich on June 19 and 20. The club said it would refund all tickets sold so far.

Singapore police, having been made aware of the upcoming gig, contacted the club’s owner, who assured them that religious elements would not be part of the show in accordance with conditions set forth by the Public Entertainment License, which ensures that public entertainment is not “offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity or nationality.”
Reportedly, DJ NewJeansNim refused to change his act in accordance with the request from the owner.

The Law and Home Affairs Minister, K. Shanmugam, as well as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Edwin Tong, previously expressed opposition to the planned performance, warning that any use of religious texts or paraphernalia during a performance would likely offend Singapore’s Buddhist community.