July 02, 2010 09:41
Japanese fans of the Korean actor and singer Park Yong-ha, who was found dead in an apparent suicide Wednesday, are devastated, according to press reports. Tower Records in Tokyo's Shinjuku, Shibuya and other districts, set up memorial corners in their stores for Park. "Fans inquired all day long whether we had Park Yong-ha's albums," said a Tower Records spokesman.
Many fans stopped to offer their condolences at the Shibuya store, which exhibited a photograph signed by Park. The Sankei Sports reported a flood of messages on the Internet.
On Wednesday and Thursday, around 1,000 fans visited a memorial altar set up at a Korean restaurant in Tokyo's Okubo district, where many Koreans live. Fans of all ages stopped by to lay flowers.
Japanese media focused on the fact that Park was about to start his first Japanese concert tour in five years. A spokesman for the company that released his album in Japan told Nikkan Sports, "Nothing seemed strange about him when he came to Korea on Saturday after completing his concert in Saitama. He seemed very happy about the concert tour in Japan." Park released his fifth album in Japan last month and was getting ready for a 14-city tour there.
Park became popular in Japan after starring as a rival suitor to Bae Yong-joon in the hit TV series "Winter Sonata." He also received the Golden Disk award in Japan for four consecutive years since 2005, consolidating his position as one of the most popular Korean stars in Japan.
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