Hundreds of Japanese Protest Against Korean Wave

Demonstrators protest against Korean soaps near Fuji TVs headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday. /Yonhap Demonstrators protest against Korean soaps near Fuji TV's headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday. /Yonhap

Around 500 demonstrators gathered around Fuji TV headquarters in Tokyo on Sunday to protest against broadcasts of Korean TV dramas. "No more Korean Wave!" the protestors chanted.

The demonstrators were brought together via messages on Twitter and other websites.

The protest had a noticeable rightwing flavor. Some demonstrators unfurled the old Imperial Japanese flag and marched around the TV station singing the national anthem. Others shouted "Long live the emperor!" The protesters accused Fuji TV of airing too many Korean TV dramas and demanded the government to cancel the company's broadcast license. They plan to gather again on Aug. 21.

Actor Sousuke Takaoka (29) triggered intense debate on the Internet over the Korean Wave in Japan when he was fired from his agency for tweeting against the influx of Korean soaps last month. Some people called for a boycott of products advertised on Fuji TV.

But Kenichiro Mogi, a renowned neurologist and TV show host, recently tweeted, "It is childish to criticize a broadcaster for leaning toward the Korean Wave. Immature cultural nationalism in a global age only weakens Japan further."

Although rightwing groups and a handful of their supporters are leading the anti-Korean Wave movement, Fuji TV and even state broadcaster NHK continue to air the massively popular Korean soaps and compete to get K-pop groups like Girls' Generation and Kara on their programs.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 09, 2011 11:55 KST