In Japan, Sousuke Takaoka and a Backlash Against Korean TV

Unfortunately, there is nothing new about animosity between Korea and Japan. The two countries have had a troubled relationship for centuries, although much of the current tension is the result of deep resentment over the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Ironically, the latest dustup between the countries is due to a sort of reverse invasion of Japan by Korean TV dramas and pop-music idols. The controversy reportedly started in the last week of July, when Sousuke Takaoka, a popular Japanese actor (“Battle Royale”), used Twitter to voice his criticisms of Fuji TV and the high number of Korean dramas the network shows. Part of Takaoka’s rant was the claim that Japanese people truly want traditional Japanese drama programming. For his trouble, Takaoka was fired from his talent agency on July 28th, which is reportedly the reason he issued an apology for his anti-Korean TV programming remarks less than 24 hours ago. Nevertheless, the actor’s Twitter-based outcry against Korean TV shows opened up a floodgate of anti-Korean sentiment in Japan. On Sunday, August 7th, for example, roughly 500 demonstrators assembled outside Fuji TV’s Tokyo headquarters to protest pretty much the same things Takaoka did last month. The unfortunate rumor about the protest is that it was either started, or heavily attended, by Japanese ultra-nationalists. No violence or injury was reported from the Fuji TV protest, but demonstrators did apparently call for the Japanese government to revoke Fuji’s broadcast license for showing too much Korean TV programming. Another protest against Fuji TV is planned for August 21st. This is a sad development, we think, because the cross-pollination of the Korean and Japanese entertainment industries might be the best way for the two countries to finally come to understand one another and at least try to get along with each other. (CNNGo – Japanese Korean TV Protest) There are additional details about this story on Tokyo Times. Excerpts from Sousuke Takaoka’s August 11th apology can be read here.