Saturday, August 27, 2011

Backlash against Korean Wave in Japan

Dissent against the Korean Wave movement has been on the rise in Japan of late, with some 6,000 Japanese protesting against the Hallyu boom outside the Fuji TV building in Odaiba earlier this week. The demonstrators were there to express their unhappiness at the Japanese television network for broadcasting too much Korean dramas and Korean-related content on Fuji TV.

Apart from the grievances over the station's scheduling decisions, the Japanese media also criticised touring Korean artistes for asking exorbitant salaries for their overseas gigs. The amounts were reportedly 10 times higher than what K-pop stars draw at home.

According to a Japanese weekly magazine, Korean boyband JYJ took home 20 million yen (S$314,000) for a show there recently, compared to just 2 million yen (S$31,000) for a performance in Korea. Korean stars were also accused of heading to Japan for the money.

Appearance fees for popular girl-bands such as Kara and SNSD went up to about 50 million yen (S$786,000), from 30-40 million yen previously. A-listers such as Bae Yong Jun and Lee Byung Hun command 50 million yen and above.

The first anti-Hallyu protests began earlier this month when over 1,000 people congregated at the Fuji TV building to show their resentment against the network. Having taken Asia by storm over the recent years, the Korean Wave has been lapping on European shores as well.

The "SM Town Live in Paris" event in France sold out within 15 minutes and tickets to the additional show were snapped up in minutes. But the K-pop culture export was inevitable after the Korean music industry was hit hard by plunging CD sales and free music downloads over the Internet.



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