Kohaku Uta Gassen, or ‘The Red and White Song Competition’, is a popular Japanese television program shown on NHK on New Year’s Eve, where a red team of female pop-stars pit their singing skills against the white team of male pop-stars. The line-up is always much-anticipated by the Japanese viewing public, and being asked to participate is often a sign that an artist has made their mark on the Japanese music scene.
This year sees the 63rd Kohaku contest, but conspicuously absent from the line-up are singers from Korea. Since K-pop has a considerable following in Japan, Korean netizens began to question why they were being left out. The article and the netizen comments below represent the Japanese response.
Kohaku resisting Korea by getting rid of K-Pop
The 50 bands that will appear on the NHK’s Kouhaku Song Competition were announced on the 26th. K-Pop sensations TVXQ, KARA and Girls Generation who appeared last year alongside regulars like Sachiko Kobayashi have disappeared.
The NHK Entertainment Program Section’s Futaro Furuya (53), commenting about whether the Takeshima Island issue had influenced the selection committee, said that ‘The result took into account public opinion and this year’s events. I personally don’t think that the territorial dispute was the cause,’ but this is hard to swallow.
The staff involved explained that ‘Since it’s still a hot issue, if we thoughtlessly presented a Korean singer, complaints would definitely flood into our channel. And if this happens, there’s no doubt it would lead to people not paying their TV license fees.’ They pointed out that NHK was acting in ‘self-defense’.
The results of this meeting were also quickly announced in Korea. Though there were on one hand harsh voices being raised because of the territorial dispute, there were also reports which considered it very likely that BIB BANG and 2PM would join last year’s three groups because of the rise in popularity of K-Pop since last year.
Owing to this, some media outlets who saw the this year’s lineup, published it under the headline ‘Hallyu Boycott Begins: K-Pop Singers Completely Eradicated’.
Now on the net, there are slogans like ‘You incompetent Japanese!’ and criticisms of the fact that political issues have intruded on cultural territory. There has also been a wave of Kohaku bashings like ‘they never planned on appearing on Kohaku anyways’ or ‘cancel it!’
Comments from Yahoo!News:
Kohaku annihilating ‘K-Pop’. A warm welcome to those people. Please give them a red punch
Hate Korea = agree and vote up Don’t hate Korea = disagree and vote down.
Why the hell would you want to be on a Japanese music program when you hate Japan so much anyway?
Are there any Japanese singers appearing on Korean New Years song shows? Think about it the other way around, gooks! It’s not a nice picture!
Yeah yeah. Lay aside the prejudice not letting them appear on Kohaku! It’s annoying to deal with.
Koreans have no business criticizing Japanese television programmes.
Then don’t come to Japan!
Really can’t be helped if Hallyu is not that popular.
Shut up anti-Japan!!
‘They never planned on appearing on Kohaku anyways’, ‘cancel it!’ –> From next year onwards, by all means. Please refrain from appearing
It’s ‘cause it’s a REALLY shameless country, so I hate it.
Ah well, you know Korea, they literally celebrate our disasters [no wonder they’re not on the lineup]
Kohaku wasn’t originally made for K-Pop, so it’s just going back to what it’s supposed to be.
It has nothing to do with resisting Korea: Kohaku is a Japanese show with a long history. Showcasing Hallyu goes against what it is. This is the real Kohaku song contest.
I don’t get the meaning of ‘resisting’
Isn’t it good thing for both countries! Why criticize nida [netizen tries to mimic Korean verb ending]?
Why the hell are you anti-Japanese fuckers complaining about the Kohaku selection?!
I think we don’t need Korea. This is a really common sense opinion.
‘Now on the net, there are slogans like “You incompetent Japanese!” and criticisms of the fact that political issues have intruded on cultural territory’. … Oi Koreans! What do you say about your soccer players?