November 11, 2014 12:37
Singer Lee Seung-chul was denied entry to Japan on Sunday, apparently due to his performance on Dokdo in celebration of Liberation Day on Aug. 15.
Japan lays a flimsy claim to the Korean islets on East Sea, and Liberation Day marks Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.
According to the singer's agency on Monday, Lee and his wife Park Hyun-jung went to Japan on a private visit and were detained for about four hours at Haneda International Airport and then sent home.
When Lee asked why he was being detained, an immigration officer only cited "recent news," the agency said, probably referring to the news of Lee's performance on the islets with young North Korean defectors on Aug. 14.
When Lee protested, the official changed tack and cited a past cannabis scandal.
However, the scandal dates back to 1990, and Lee has since visited Japan 15 and never had any trouble in immigration.
When actor Song Il-gook took part in an event on Dokdo on Liberation Day in 2012, then the country’s Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi warned Song would not be allowed into Japan.
The incident is part of an ongoing tit-for-tat. Members of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party who wanted to assert their government's claim to the islets were stopped at Gimpo International Airport in 2011. Right afterwards, manufactured Korean bands BEAST and CNBLUE were also denied entry to Japan.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com